Motorway stock
Ben Birchall/PA WIRE

Inconsiderate motorists are still hogging the middle lane of the motorway, despite the introduction of new legislation last year, outlawing this anti-social practice.

New research by the Highways Agency and insurance provider Direct Line shows that despite being illegal since August 2013, 59 per cent of drivers fail to pull into the nearside lane when not overtaking slower traffic.

Moreover, 52 per cent of drivers admitted to knowingly flouting the new law, which results in a drastic reduction in overall motorway capacity.

Older drivers, particularly those over 65, were found to be the worst offenders.

Traffic analysis of 6,500 sites around the motorway network also revealed that the area with the highest incidence of middle-lane hogging was the M4 near Slough in Berkshire.

Direct Line's Rob Miles said: "Lane hogging causes congestion, reduces the capacity of the roads, and most crucially, can be dangerous.

"It is also illegal which means drivers could face a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on their licence if caught.

"Motorists are risking their own safety and the safety of other road users through their actions so we'd urge them to be aware of the other lanes and drivers around them when on the road.

"If the inside lane has space, you should move into it."

Currently, anyone caught driving inconsiderately – which covers a range of offences from middle lane hogging to tailgating – can expect to receive endorsements on their licence and a £100 fine.

Do you drive in the middle lane? What is your reasoning for it? Have your say in the comments section below.