Great news that that the M25 widening to four lanes will be going ahead, despite the constant background noise from the anti-car, anti-roads lobby.

Appears there are some practical heads in the DfT and Whitehall who recognise that it might be a good idea to let Britons move around their country without suffering constant time-wasting snarl-ups.

There’s even a surprisingly instantaneous start to this massive £6 billion project, with cones due to appear already on the western section — between the M40 and A1. The second section getting an upgrade is between the M11 and A13.

Nothing like an immovable deadline like the 2012 Olympics to focus the political mind.

One major challenge remains, however, how to get drivers to drive on the inside two lanes of the widened motorway to make full use of the new road space?

Anyone who has driven on the four-lane section of the M25 from Heathrow to Gatwick will know the pattern well.

Middle-lane hoggers who used to occupy Lane two have shifted one lane outwards. So when a pair of speed-limited 60mph trucks are crawling past each other in lanes one and two and lane three is blocked by a hogger, the rest of the motorway’s traffic is forced into a long tailback to squeeze through lane four.

It’s also not unusual to catch-up on an empty section — it does happen — with a hogger in Lane 3 and the other lanes completely empty.

A few years back we had a great reader’s letter responding to the idea that the M25 might be widened. “Let’s make sure they put the extra lanes on the outside, not the inside,” he joked.

Could it be time to re-launch those unfashionable public information films from the 1970s, which hammered home boring but essential messages like lane discipline?

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