Quick quiz: which side of the road do you drive on in the UK? That’s right: the left-hand side! Unless, that is, you’re AP05 DWW, a van from what appeared to be an utterly ungoogleable Oxford company called “Agency”. According to the stickers on their vehicles they’re something to do with putting out boards, but when they’re not putting out boards they’re overtaking at junctions and blind corners.
I was in the middle of turning right as part the second half of the dogleg just before Eynsham Sawmill on the Witney–Woodstock road. It’s a hazardous manoeuvre at the best of times, with fast traffic both in front and behind. Although a gap in oncoming traffic meant I didn’t actually have to entirely stop, the van behind me grew impatient of the Highway Code’s picky-picky insistence on queuing behind other road users. At exactly the point where I began to cross the right-hand lane and enter the minor road, he decided to do the same. Overtaking at a junction meant that he ended up entirely on the wrong side of the road, barrelling along around the blind bend before the entrance to the sawmill.
I don’t think he expected to see a similarly moronic white-van man suddenly loom all too quickly round the blind bend: they’re called “blind” bends for the very reason of that lack of expectation, but these memos don’t always get sent out to thick people. Anyway, more by luck than judgment he avoided the oncoming traffic, with around ten feet to spare, and then pulled over—well, drifted a bit with an indicator on—to the right.
I was worried he’d heard me calling him a dickhead—more in a tone of despair than anger, I maintain—and fancied some sort of workie fist-fight. But he sat rather quietly in his van, not even winding his window down. In retrospect, I think it’s possible the sight of the van heading towards him, pointed squarely between his eyes, might have made him shit himself.
Five to ten minutes later, perhaps cleaned up with wet-wipes, he barrelled past me again, before turning sharply left down Cuckoo Lane. They say you live and learn; but then, correlation should never be confused with causation.