20 ÓCentre for Economics and Business Research Asked what their greatest concern is, almost 50% responded that time away from home is top of the list. In fact, missing family and time away from home was a greater concern than mental wellbeing (38%) and physical health (36%). Mercedes-Benz Vans UK managing director Steve Bridge commented: ‘‘It is important that we continue to support this vital sector with kindness, because without them, quite simply the country would not be running in the same way.” The results of the Mercedes-Benz survey contrast sharply with those from a survey by CameraMatics at the outset of the crisis. In April, CameraMatics asked both truck and van drivers if they felt appreciated and 50.4% responded that they did not. The survey had followed a period of peak stress for the nation’s drivers, with a staggering two billion pounds worth of extra groceries purchased in the UK in the four weeks to 21 March 2020. This month’s more positive responses could be due to drivers and the public becoming accustomed to the crisis and more confident with safety and hygiene measures. Van drivers have experienced a period of unusually low traffic on the roads and have more chance of finding customers at home to take receipt of deliveries. While the volume of work was high, lower traffic levels and friendlier interaction with customers are likely to have been temporary improvements for drivers. Post-lockdown, van drivers face a fresh challenge as the public is urged to walk or cycle to work and traffic-disrupting work on cycle lanes in urban areas gets underway’23. The demographics of van usage Even in 2008-10 70% of van drivers were manual workers, a proportion that has probably increased with the growth of the online economy and the consequent rise in delivery services. Figure 5 shows some older data on the socio-economic background of van drivers about a decade ago. Figure 5 Socio economic background of van drivers 23 https://www.sparshattgroup.com/news/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-van-drivers