For the best part of two hundred years, Darlington had one claim to fame – it was the final destination on the world’s first railway line. But it’s just achieved a new one. According to data recently released by the Department for Transport (DfT), it’s home to more vans than anywhere else in the UK. Apparently there are 611 vans for every 1,000 Darlingtonians. What’s more, it’s streets ahead of its nearest rivals; Slough (370 vans per 1,000 population) and Swindon (204 vans per 1,000 population).
Countrywide, vans are certainly leading the way when it comes to new registrations. September figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) show that 49,100 vans were registered – 14% up on last year. By comparison, truck registrations were 12% down.
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Commenting on Darlington’s new found van fame, Lisa Fleming, owner of Driver Hire’s office in Darlington wasn’t totally shocked. “In the last few days I’ve had requests for van drivers from a wine merchant and stairlift manufacturer. Van drivers continue to represent a good proportion of my business which, currently, is 10% ahead of same time last year.”