Knights of Old says partnership aims to raise cycle awareness among staff, wider industry and community

A Northamptonshire-based haulage firm has announced a partnership with British professional cycling team Metaltek Scott that is aimed at raising awareness of cycle safety among both cyclists and lorry drivers as well as the wider community.

Kettering-based Knights of Old plans to hold workshops for its staff to highlight cycling and road safety issues as well as areas including fitness and nutrition, and will also be visiting schools in the area in April as part of a road safety campaign.

Managing director Ian Beattie said: “We recognise that we have a responsibility to look after our staff, the local community and all road users and by joining forces with a professional cycling team we gain expertise and a greater platform to generate interest, discussion and positive results.

“Unfortunately, more accidents between cyclists and trucks are happening but through training and raising awareness on both sides we hope to be able to make a difference,” he continued.

“We recognise that this will be a challenge and it will take time and effort from everyone, not just Knights of Old and Metaltek-Scott.

“The wellbeing of our staff is very important to us, and by holding workshops, hosting forums and focusing on training we hope to have a healthier workforce.”

Referring to the road safety campaign it will be conducting in partnership with local schools, he said: “The interest from the schools has been great. They too have the same items on their agendas and by working with local companies and a professional team; the topics get covered in a different way which is more interesting for the children.”

The company announced in December that it was to merge with Mainland Group, the combined business boasting a turnover approaching £50 million and a fleet of 200 trucks and 225 trailers, with 400 employees.

It has also brought other members of the industry into its road safety initiative including TruckEast, its Scania dealer, and SDC Trailers.

“These are big issues that the industry is facing and by involving our key suppliers in events we hope to start to shift the culture towards cycling, safety, and nutrition internally and externally,” concluded Mr Beattie.

Formed at the end of 2011, Metaltek Scott is managed by Andy Swain, owner of CNC engineering company Metaltek Engineering Solutions, based in Melton Mowbray, who has more than 25 years’ experience of cycling as a rider, race organiser and sponsor.

Previously, the company sponsored Cycle Premier-Metalek, which finished sixth in the Halfords Tour Series last year.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.