Exasperated drivers on the M40 in the High Wycombe area expressed their delight and relief on Tuesday morning when so-called ‘middle-lane driver’ Steven Hughes unexpectedly moved into the inside lane for the first time in his motorway driving career, however, their elation was short-lived.
Hughes (67) has been commuting between his home in Stokenchurch to work in Perivale along the M40 and A40 in Buckinghamshire and West London for the last eleven years, and he has spent nearly all these journeys traveling at 55 mph in the middle lane in his 2.0L Nissan Sentra.
‘I’m always very relaxed on my journey to work.’ said Hughes, ‘Once I roll down the slip road to join the motorway, I head straight for the middle lane, switch on the cruise control, turn on Magic FM and then I can simply sit back and enjoy the journey and the music. I saw some red kites over the carriageway yesterday.
‘You see it’s so easy; there’s no need to change lanes to overtake the slower lorries, or to switch lanes to avoid the M25 slip road, I can just unwind and enjoy the journey knowing that I am driving safely. I never take my eyes off the road to looking in the mirrors – how reckless would that be? And I always drive well under the speed limit so all the impatient drivers can slip past me. Some of them wave or give me a toot to show how they appreciate my safe driving.’
Asked why he had made the decision to move into the inside lane, Hughes’s tone changed. ‘Well there was this fool in a bloody Toyota Prius driving at 50 in the lane ahead of me, and through a section of roadworks too – moron! I had no choice other than to sharply veer into the inside lane to get past the bloody road hog, but it was soon over and I was quickly back driving safely in my lane again, and setting an example to that dangerous idiot!’