White van man

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Reconstruction work on Mansfield Road, Oxford, with assorted white vans
A typical white van

"White van man" is a stereotype used in the United Kingdom for a smaller-sized commercial van driver,[1] perceived as selfish, inconsiderate, mostly petit bourgeois and aggressive.[2] According to this stereotype, the "white van man" is an independent tradesperson, such as a plumber or locksmith, self-employed, or running a small enterprise,[2] for whom driving a commercial vehicle is not the main line of business, as it is for a professional freight-driver.[3]

Usage[edit]

The first recorded use in the British press was in an article titled "Number is up for White Van Man – scourge of the road." published by The Sunday Times on 18 May 1997 written by Jonathan Leake, that paper's then-transport editor. Later in 1997, it was used by BBC Radio 2's Sarah Kennedy. She was made honorary president of the First Ford Transit Owner's Club in 2005.[4]

The Sun newspaper ran a regular "White Van Man" column for some years[when?] in which the driver of a light goods vehicle was interviewed in his van on the issues of the day. These columns were accompanied by a picture of whichever driver had been interviewed leaning out of his cab.[citation needed]

The term was used in 2010 as part of road safety campaigns by the Freight Transport Association.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]