Monday, October 8, 2012

Freight and Logistics Joins with Other Transport Stalwarts in Ride for Africa

Transaid Raises £100,000 in a Weekend Cycle Challenge
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – UK – FRANCE – The big guns of the UK transport industry turned out in force this weekend to support international development agency Transaid, the charity founded by Save The Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) to improve the lot of those less fortunate in Africa, particularly with regard to training professional freight truck and service vehicle drivers. The brave, forty strong, team raised more than £100,000 by completing a 326 km London to Paris cycle ride starting on Friday 5th in London and ending in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday evening.

The team endured an entire day of driving torrential rain, a modest number of punctures, plenty of hills, and one mechanical failure so severe that a participant – albeit one who had ridden the entire way on a Brompton folding bicycle – elected to run the last 2 km into Paris, all in the name of the charity, typical of the spirit of this event as we have pointed out previously

The motley crew which made the trip included Freight Transport Association (FTA) President Stewart Oades and Transport for London’s (TfL) Commissioner Peter Hendy CBE who decided that, having already shouldered responsibility for moving nine million people a day to the London 2012 Games venues in the summer, he needed the exercise as did thirteen of his colleagues. The Gods of the Games apparently saw the joke and left him to fix his own punctures, three of which they granted him on the first days ride. Gary Forster, Chief Executive of Transaid, who also participated in the ride, says:

“There was a broad mix of participants from across the transport industry, including representatives from some of the largest logistics and passenger transport companies in Europe. We’re very lucky to have such support and grateful that the challengers found the time to leave their busy day jobs to put forth a tremendous effort to raise money for Transaid’s crucial cause.”

Transaid’s cycle challenges have become famous across the industry; since 2006 teams of supporters have saddled-up in Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Madagascar, but this is the first time Transaid has run a cycle challenge so close to home. Next year, Transaid will host a cycle challenge in Uganda, with the funds continuing to reduce impacts of road crashes throughout the developing world. Forster says the enthusiasm and bonhomie generated on the London to Paris ride is also likely to lead to another European cycle challenge in the future.

As well as those mentioned above plus Transaid’s Chairman Graeme McFaull and Trustee Clare Bottle there were representatives from Backhouse Jones, Hitchenor Wakeford, Iron Mountain, Musgrave Retail Partners, Palmer & Harvey, Bridgend Council, Clipper Logistics, Crossrail, Delin Capital, LaFarge Cement, Manhattan Associates, Norbert Dentressangle, Pie Mapping, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Tesco.

Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote HIV, AIDS and road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the humanitarian aid sector and enjoys strong backing from the transport and logistics industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH the Princess Royal.

For further information about future Transaid challenges, please visit the website or call Agnieszka Kransolucka-Hickman on +44 (0) 20 7387 8136 or