HGVs are now restricted to lane one on two sections of the A1(M) southbound from Chester-le-Street to Darlington. I am surprised by this move because trials on this system have been in place on the M42 for some time.

I wonder what the results of those trials were?

I have serious doubt as to the benefit of restricting HGVs to lane one on inclines as it will simply lead to bunching. All HGVs are restricted by limiter to 56mph so even if the driver wants to travel faster, this should only be possible downhill.

Because HGVs are limited in this way, on level roads, opportunities to overtake are limited and rely on the small calibration differences between vehicles. On inclines, speed differentials open up greatly, subject to the load weight and power of the truck so restricting all vehicles to the speed of the slowest can only compound bunching.

Perhaps this is only a sop to car drivers but what would be far more beneficial for all road users would be an education campaign followed by a period of rigid enforcement, encouraging all drivers to return to lane one after overtaking manoeuvres. As many drivers already observe, the inside lane can be virtually empty for long periods while cars are bunched up in the outside lane travelling at the speed of the slowest vehicle in that lane.

An advertising and education programme to make hogging of the centre or outside lane seen as antisocial, in the same way that drink driving or using a mobile phone is regarded, would greatly improve traffic flow.

Harvey Smith, Darlington.