The Princess Royal joined more than 60 industry figures at Transaid’s annual showcase, hosted by Barclays Corporate in Canary Wharf on 28 September, to hear news of a project to provide professional training to bus and truck drivers in an effort to reduce the number of road deaths.
Project manager Neil Rettie, who is working for Transaid on secondment from Stagecoach, explained that volunteers from the UK are helping to train a core group of 12 African commercial vehicle driver trainers who will go on to train hundreds of other drivers and help save lives in Tanzania, where an average 10 people are killed on the roads every day.
Guests also heard from National Express driver trainers John Mitchell and Rajesh Bhutta who spent two weeks in Tanzania earlier this year, and received a message from the head of the National Institute of Transport in Dar es Salaam about the impact of Transaid’s work in helping to build its driver training capability.
The Princess Royal, who inspired the formation of Transaid and is the charity’s patron, said: “If we can create a group of people who do understand road safety we are leaving a very important group of people in that country.
“There is a real opportunity for us as an organisation and all our members to make a real difference. Through Transaid the UK transport and logistics industry is already making a very significant contribution.”
In addition to help from Stagecoach and National Express, Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Programme, has also received support from DHL, FTA, Iveco, Norbert Dentressangle, and Wincanton.
Transaid Chief Executive Gary Forster said: “The number of lives lost on Africa’s roads continues to rise each year. Fortunately the support we receive from the transport and logistics industry continues to grow and we know that by providing the right training we will help reduce the number of fatalities.”
The Princess Royal also joined Transaid Chairman Graeme McFaull in thanking Stewart Oades for organising the Freight Transport Association’s 750 mile cycle challenge which he completed in full and which raised more than £51,000.
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