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Wigan driver becomes first to be convicted for ‘middle lane hogging’

Ian Stephens was fined £940 after driving his Citroen Berlingo at 60mph in the central lane of the M62 between Rochdale and Huddersfield last August. Leeds magistrates also put five penalty points on his driving licence.

Stephens told the Mirror: “It’s rubbish that I made other people swerve and break. That didn't happen.

“All three lanes were full and they were all busy. I had my ladders on the roof, there were a lot of vans in the inside lane. It was uphill and very windy.”

He added: I’m a one-man-band. I’m self-employed. I can’t afford nearly £1,000. I didn't go to court because I have to go to work.

“I think the fine is unfair. It’s because I drive a white van. People will like that I've been made an example of.”

However, the conviction has been greeted by GEM Motoring Assist. Chief executive David Williams MBE said: “Dangerous lane hogging is inconsiderate, increases motorway congestion and can inconvenience other road users. All drivers should know that they should use the inside lane unless overtaking. When they have finished overtaking, they should return to the inside lane.

“We welcome the conviction, although we would prefer drivers to understand the rules and use motorway lanes correctly, without the need for penalties and fines. We would also welcome more traffic police patrols on our motorways to provide an effective deterrent for those drivers who are otherwise more likely to ignore these rules.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.