Friday, September 7, 2012

Freight and Road Haulage Support for People Daft Enough to Cycle to Paris

Transaid Looks for Support to Aid Transport Development in Africa
Shipping News Feature

UK – AFRICA – FRANCE - There are still a few places left for this year’s Transaid 2012 London to Paris bike ride due to take place from the 5th to the 8th of October and which aims to raise £100,000 for the Professional Driver Training Project charity in Zambia and Tanzania. The ride, as organised in partnership with CILT, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Transport for London (TfL), has already attracted great interest within the industry, and has also acquired the sponsorship of tyre company Bandvulc whose founder and director, Richard O’Connell said that the company have supported Transaid over the years and how pleased he was to have the opportunity to support this latest exciting event.

In Lancashire, the ride has captured the imagination of a three-strong team at Clitheroe-based Backhouse Jones Solicitors. Instead of just riding the 192 miles from London to Paris, solicitor Scott Bell and his colleagues Andrew Woolfall and Steven Meyerhoff decided to add another 270 miles to the ride by setting out a few days early from their offices. Scott Bell said that the company like to go the extra mile and this is a great opportunity to show it if they could raise as much as £10,000 for Transaid, you can sponsor these three sensible looking gentlemen HERE.

To bolster their fundraising efforts the three lawyers donned a variety of costumes over their Lycra shorts to pose for publicity photos. They also completed a number of ‘sportif’ training rides including a 90-mile route from Liverpool to Chester and back, and even a 100-mile event in the Ribble Valley run by British cycling hero Bradley Wiggins. Gary Forster, chief executive of Transaid said:

“Interest is building throughout the industry about this year’s London to Paris bike ride. We’re very pleased to see so many senior executives joining and raising funds for our vital work”

Bridgend County Council Passenger Transport Officer Tony Hart was the first participant in the challenge to reach his fundraising target. By day, Hart organises school transport for 6,000 children across the borough, contracting with a fleet of more than 100 private operators. By night, Hart has sacrificed his weekday evenings, weekends and even the possibility of a summer holiday abroad to focus on training rides around Wales this summer. He even managed to persuade two local taxi firms to sponsor some training jerseys. Transaid’s mission not only appealed to Hart as a transport professional but also as the father of two sons and grandfather of four, aged 52. Hart said:

“I was very lucky in my fundraising because I have direct contact with many of the bus and taxi people in the Bridgend area. I focused on the transport aspect of Transaid to capture their imagination, coupled with the ‘how much would you pay to see me suffer?’ approach.

“Living here we know that in an emergency the transport to hospital would be taken care of and there would be an ambulance available if necessary. That’s not the case in some of the regions Transaid works in.”

There are still free spaces on the 50-strong pedal to the French capital set for a long weekend this October 5-8. The challenge is open to anyone working within the transport and logistics industry and willing to raise sponsorship of £1,500. For further information visit the website here, or contact Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman at Transaid on +44 (0) 20 7387 8136 or  

For those of you (or us) too busy, lazy, fat, tired or unfit to take part in this event you can make a difference to the Transaid efforts to help with vital transport development throughout Africa by contributing Salve your guilty conscience either by supporting one of the riders or donating to Transaid via their website or the JustGiving facility.

Photo: Failure to sponsor Transaid may result in these people visiting you socially.