Truckers in final leg of charity cycle tour

Monday 20 June 2011

The final leg of the FTA Transaid Cycle Challenge 2011, organised by the Freight Transport Association, will take place on Wednesday 22 June, clocking up 52 miles as it travels from St Paul’s in London, passing through Dulwich, West Wickham, Oxted, Edenbridge and Groombridge to Tunbridge Wells.

The 13-day cycle ride around the UK has been organised to raise vital funds and awareness for international UK development charity Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project, which is helping to save lives on Africa’s roads.

The Challenge, starting and finishing at the FTA headquarters in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and travelling through England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, will have covered a total of around 700 miles in two weeks, averaging around 50 miles a day. The marathon challenge is being led by FTA’s President Stewart Oades, accompanied through each FTA region by a local team.

Stewart Oades said:

“With a transport industry as professional and well-regulated as ours here in the UK, and roads which are generally of a good standard, it is difficult to appreciate how hazardous road transport can be in other parts of the world. The whole FTA team is enjoying this challenge and the opportunity to raise funds for Transaid’s important, life-saving work.”

You can sponsor Stewart and the FTA Cycle Challenge teams


Notes for editors

For further information please contact FTA’s media team on 01892 552255/01892 552253 or, out of hours, on 07818 450425.

BBC Radio 2’s Sally ‘Traffic’ Boazman has given her support to the Cycle Challenge. She said: “Please join in the fun and support this event to make a real difference to people’s lives in Africa. Road deaths are a real killer, both in the UK and on a global scale and the problem is predicted to escalate if nothing is done to stop it – so get on your bike and get fit while raising a bit of sponsorship for Transaid this summer.”

The Cycle Challenge route:

Day 1 – Tues 7 June - South East England (Tunbridge Wells to Guildford) – 46 miles
Day 2 – Wed 8 June – South West England (Wootten Bassett to Bristol) – 55 miles
Day 3 – Thurs 9 June – Wales (Brecon to Cardiff) – 52 miles
Day 4 – Fri 10 June – West Midlands (Worcester to Leamington Spa) – 52 miles
Day 5 – Sat 11 June – North West (Manchester to Chester) – 52 miles
Day 6 – Sun 12 June – Eire (Dublin to Dundalk) – 56 miles
Day 7 – Mon 13 June – Northern Ireland (Belfast to Larne) – 51 miles
Day 8 – Tues 14 June – Scotland (Stirling to Edinburgh) – 50 miles
Day 9 – Sat 18 June – North East (Tyneside to Middlesbrough) – 45 miles
Day 10 – Sun 19 June – Yorkshire & Humberside (York to Doncaster) – 50 miles
Day 11 – Mon 20 June – East Midlands (Derby to Rugby) – 55 miles
Day 12 – Tues 21 June – East of England (Cambridge to Hoddesdon) – 57 miles
Day 13 – Wed 22 June – South East England (London to Tunbridge Wells) – 52 miles

The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA’s website can be found at

About Transaid:

In much of sub-Saharan Africa driving is seen as a job of last resort and something to do when you have no other skills. There is a huge shortage of qualified drivers and very few training facilities. Infrastructure is poor, vehicles are often poorly managed and badly maintained, and road traffic enforcement and legislation is virtually non existent, resulting in heavily overloaded and poorly driven vehicles. Road crashes occur almost daily, often with devastating consequences.

Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project, which is currently active in Zambia and Tanzania, is improving commercial vehicle driver training standards and safety awareness in order to address the shortage of skilled drivers to help make communities safer. Currently, road deaths are the third biggest premature killer in sub-Saharan Africa following HIV/AIDS and malaria and this figure is set to rise to become the leading killer if nothing is done to avert the crisis. Funds raised from the ride will enable the project to be expanded further.

FTA supports Transaid in its vital work by providing technical skills and expertise for its transport projects, as well as helping to raise funds through its annual membership renewal scheme. The target for the cycle ride is £50,000 which will be distributed to Transaid and local charities.

For further information on Transaid, visit or contact Chantelle Cummings on 020 7387 8136.


FTA Press Office

01892 552255