Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Transport Charity Works with Others to Improve Road Safety of Motorcycles in Africa

(and you logistics specialists still have time to get on your push bikes)
Shipping News Feature
UK – AFRICA – The charity Transaid is taking a good look at the viability of motorcycle and three wheeler transport in four African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. These types of vehicle are commonly used across so called third world countries, being economical and easy to repair in what are often remote rural areas. Transaid, which gives medical support through its transport services, gets the bulk of its funds from those in the freight supply chain with sponsorship from a variety of logistics interests, but this project is being funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP).

The initiative is being delivered in partnership with NGO Amend, which specialises in raising road safety standards in Africa, and the Transport Research Laboratory. The purpose of this study is to improve affordable and safe access for people using motorcycles, motorcycle taxis and three-wheelers. Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager, Neil Rettie, is the project’s Safety Specialist. He provides support to the project’s four National Experts, one from each of the targeted four countries. Neil commented:

“The use of motorcycles and three-wheelers has increased significantly, and they are now one of the most utilised vehicles on rural roads across these four countries. However, this means of transport largely operates informally and therefore strategies to address safety are still relatively underdeveloped, particularly on low-volume roads in rural areas.

“There is a pressing need to establish affordable and appropriate procedures to allow local communities to benefit from safe motorcycle and three-wheeler use. This project aims to develop realistic recommendations and potential solutions which will be beneficial to people who rely on these forms of transport.”

The project is due to continue until January 2019, at which point the findings from the research will be shared through media outlets, the goal being that many of the recommendations be implemented by the government bodies in the four countries. Tom Bishop, Deputy Director of Amend and the project’s Team Leader, says:

“We recognise the vital service that motorcycles, and three-wheelers provide in rural areas. Blanket bans are not the answer, but in order to reduce the risk of road crashes involving these vehicles, a strong framework which takes into account accessibility and safety is necessary.”

Transaid are now acknowledged experts in training African drivers, HGV and otherwise, and improving the standards of driving across the board in the countries targeted is a necessary step for them to avoid needless tragedy.

Meanwhile UK based freight and logistics professionals (and indeed others) may still have time to register for the Transaid 20th Birthday cycle ride, a full 972 miles from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, a 12 day adventure which commences on 11 June 2018. Interested parties can find full details and register their interest HERE.