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Van Crisis!

The internet is a wonderful thing. It is also an appalling thing. It is largely unregulated and poorly policed. Thanks to the internet I myself have many offers of friendship (or maybe more) from Eastern Europe and millions of pounds waiting for me at a branch of the Bank of Africa in Burkino Faso. Everything you desire. It is all there, ready to be ordered and delivered to you; and it usually comes by van.

Vans have proliferated on our highways, many with scarcely trained drivers who are often expected to make up to two hundred deliveries a day (aren’t they Amazoooom?). Is it any wonder that there’s trouble on t’roads.

Accordingly – because you, yes you, want it and you want it now – the number of cases of speeding among van drivers have increased as have the number of accidents. Add to this the rise of the two-wheeled Deliveroo menace and cab-hailing apps with, again, poorly trained drivers and it’s no wonder road carnage is increasing. We have only got ourselves to blame.

Hail a black cab in London and you know that the driver is trained and has ‘the knowledge’. Take any other form of taxi and you can be taking your life in your hands, sometimes during an extended and convoluted route.

It’s our own fault. We are the ‘now’ generation and we are responsible for the poor driving standards on our roads just as we are responsible in part for the ruination over time of the once greatest postal service in the world. (The appalling management and greedy unions must also carry the can).

With the post office it’s easy. Missed a delivery? You can pick it up at the local depot at a time to suit. With deliveries out of the back of a dodgy Transit, new arrangements must be made, often inconveniently. Nobody who works is at home for deliveries. It must be soul-destroying to be a driver too; vast, empty estates with comatose houses and treacherous dogs. Best just chuck the bloody thing over the fence eh?

For van drivers it gets worse. As any woman will likely have experienced at some point in their lives, the traditionally romantic and appreciative bent arm “phoar!” gesture must also be getting risky. With the ever increasing amount of street furniture I wouldn’t be at all surprised if A&E departments are seeing a rise in broken arm injuries as these white knight lotharios crack the extended limb against a ‘No Entry’ post.

Right now, around the country the Peelers are being extra vigilant, watching out for and prosecuting idiots who are driving whilst using a mobile. Good. Unfortunately, because there are only a handful of traffic cops around, not that many get nabbed. On the morning of the day that I wrote this I saw three people, including a van driver inevitably, committing that crime yet I don’t have the power (or a gun) to do anything about it.

If the police can’t cope now, is it any wonder that with vans and cabs and bikes whizzing about all over the shop there are more accidents involving delivery drivers. True, most van drivers are just trying to earn a crust but there remains an element who, just like Janice from Accounts, couldn’t give a ****.

Of course, I blame the internet.

Geoff Maxted