White Van Man an A5 menace
I STARTED a job over in Shropshire just before Christmas.
This means that I now drive well over a thousand miles a month on the A5 and spend around £300 a month on fuel.
It's a tedious journey that I could do without but work's work and I'm grateful for it as it came at a time when I didn't have any.
There's one category of driver though that blights my commute on an almost daily basis.
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Who is it ? There are no boy racers about, and it's too early/late for school run mum.
I get caught behind the odd container lorry but that's usually only for short distances. It's not that persistent pest fast rising up the league table of road hogs, four-wheel driver; and it's not Land Rovers pulling horse boxes either.
It's not even drivers of agricultural vehicles who normally have the courtesy to pull over now and again and let you through.
Yes you've guessed it, it's White Van Man.
Why is it that when a bloke jumps behind the wheel of a white van his mental capacity seems to diminish significantly?
His judgement of speed and distance immediately become impaired, and you'll often see him pull out into a line of traffic without an invitation, causing other drivers to change speed and course.
He zips up the outside lane while eating his Snickers and listening to his Black Sabbath CD, when he should be taking his place in the queue; then when the road narrows he expects a gap to open up that he can squirm into.
Sometimes this doesn't happen, and I've seen him driving on the other side of the road into oncoming traffic.
He doesn't have a clue which lane he should be in or how he should be signalling when approaching, going around, and coming off of a roundabout, and he tailgates you when you're already exceeding the speed limit.
He's such a cool and rugged character, he sits there in his faded blue baseball cap with his Sun-reading, pop-swilling, hooded, apprentrice, or Essex-born, peroxide blonde, nail-filing wife in the passenger seat, thinking hard about what reckless stunt he can pull next.
Then when there's the slightest hint of sunlight he pulls out a pair of those super-cool, wraparound, sunglasses, and makes himself look like Reservoir Dogs on wheels.
From the big service companies, to local tradesmen and market traders, why are they such rubbish, inconsiderate drivers ?
Where did he get his licence from – a packet of cornflakes?
Do you think that all drivers of white vans should have to retake their driving test annually?
Why is it that you rarely see women driving white vans?
I've noticed recently that drivers of white vans come in two flavours. There's Big White Van Man: Ford Transit sized vehicle or above, who I've just described.
Then there's his counterpart Little White Van Man who is a completely different creature.
Little White Van Man can frequently be seen driving his Berlingo/Combo/Connect/Kangoo on the A5 at 20mph below the speed limit with 50 cars strung out behind him.
This is the same chap approaching retirement age who you're likely to get stuck behind driving at 45mph on the motorway.
I suppose we have to be grateful to him for keeping the country moving, but it comes at a price.
Oh, and thank you for moving house for me recently.
Silas Smith, Amington.