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White van man alive and well in UK

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The proliferation of "white van man" on Britain's roads is being aided by an explosion in internet home deliveries, figures suggest.

In a survey of 1,500 adults by the Government, 73% of households said they had ordered goods by internet, phone or post for delivery in 2008.

This is 9% up on a similar survey performed in 2002, according to the Department for Transport.

And concentrating on internet deliveries alone, the total for last year was also 73% of households - up from only 26% in the 2002 survey.

AA president Edmund King said: "Despite the economic downturn 'white van man' has a crucial role to play. There is a big benefit from van internet deliveries: only one in five orders came from visiting the high street and only 3% of people making an order had to collect it from a depot or post office."

He also said that efficient van deliveries reduce CO2 emissions by saving millions of customers from driving to the shops.

"The large number of vans on the road is not necessarily the environmental and congestion hazard they may at first appear. Some of the people who condemn vans are also those who have the most deliveries," he added.

© Press Association 2009