Big Green Van

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Senior Member
I had occasion to email Murphy's (the Civil Engineering and Construction people) thus:

I was cycling up Katherine Road, in Forest Gate in east London, when I was overtaken by one of your huge green vans.

What astonished me was that the driver overtook me with care and consideration, at a place where it was safe for him to overtake.

When I caught up with him at the traffic lights, there was a cyclists' Advances Stop Line. Not one millimeter of van has strayed into the ASL

If half the other van drivers on the road were as courteous as your driver, then life for cyclists (and other road users, too) would be that much better.

My heartfelt appreciation



Master of all he surveys
Makes a nice change to get a good van driver, hopefullly he/she continues in this manner.


New Member
Always good to give positive feedback, I think, where you can. I did this with the local end of a national company and had the national transport manager on the phone, within minutes, saying he appreciated the feedback and would make sure his drivers knew of the good feedback.


Good. I was conditioned liked one of Pavlov's dogs into thinking it was a complaint letter. Nice one.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
I used to work for one of these 'utility' companies, but they will take your letter seriously - ours was the biggest privately owned business in a certain part of the business, but we would follow up good and bad stuff.

Bad stuff.. a van returned to the depot of 3 years old worth £30k new - doors held closed by rope.... the transport manager and 'owners of the company' would go mad - why, we fixed the fleet kept it tip top as a rule/public image, and had the rules of the gov't to adhere too...oh my would they go ballistic if this sort of crap happened...and it did....

Glad Murphys were good.... not my old company, but most are 'well advertised", so have to behave, and should - it's often viewed quite badly at HO if they don't.... all about public 'perception'.........


Maybe he's been complained about by cyclists in the past and his boss listens to them, and has given him numerous dressings down and he is now on his final warning, so is being squeeky clean and not giving anyone any excuses.
So we're now congratulating people simply for following the rules of the road? It's nothing more than is expected. If he had got out and helped you fix a puncture, then perhaps a letter is in order.

Ok, I'm deliberately being contrarian, but do you see my point?


New Member
There's nothing wrong in giving praise for kindness, courtesy, good manners. Do unto others and all of that. That note of goodwill to the company is likely to engender a much more positive attitude to cyclists from the drivers of the company. Which is a good thing. A bit of politeness goes a long way to making life more pleasant.

Be a miserable old fart if you wish, 20", not offering thanks for common courtesies extended to you, but some folk find politeness & courtesy makes life a lot more pleasant all round :evil::evil:
Dear Ms. Jones

I was walking back from the shops when I was passed by your big teenage son. I was astonished that he didn't attempt to mug me, assault me or abuse me, despite the fact that I am much older and frailer than he is.

If half the teenagers around here were as courteous as he is, then life for little old ladies like me would be much easier.

Nora Batty

Unreconstructed curmudgeon, that's me. :rolleyes:

It says a lot for the state of modern life that we make a point of writing to someone congratulating them for behaving properly. Are our expectations really that low?

Don't get me wrong - I understand the principle of praising the good behaviour and punishing the bad (if cyclists could punish van drivers in any meaningful way for the myriad petty humiliations and dangerous stupidities they inflict). It's the same principle employed in training dogs. I also try to acknowledge a driver's patience, or considerate driving, or other praiseworthy attempts to make the roads a slightly less dangerous and unpleasant place to be.

I just think that in this instance, the driver has done nothing exceptional. He's merely doing what is required by law, and by good manners, and by his employers. Dishing out praise when it's not deserved just devalues the currency.

Anyway, that's enough contrarianism from me - next week I too will try to find some praiseworthy behaviour to write to a company about.

And Waffly, advocating politeness and courtesy in the same sentence as you call me a miserable old fart undermines your argument a little, don't you think? You're normally a more considered correspondent.


New Member
Twenty Inch said:
And Waffly, advocating politeness and courtesy in the same sentence as you call me a miserable old fart undermines your argument a little, don't you think? You're normally a more considered correspondent.

So you missed the smileys indicating humour then. It seems you are a curmudgeonly old fart after all 20"! :wacko::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: Just putting plenty of smileys in there to make sure xx(:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
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