London to Sheffield charity bike ride raises over £22,000

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Colleagues from Network Rail and other industry partners cycled from London St. Pancras to Sheffield in just three days to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

In memory of Network Rail colleague, Fran Johnson, 20 cyclists from Network Rail’s East Midlands route, along with industry partners, took on the challenge of cycling 180 miles from London St. Pancras to Sheffield over three days.

On Thursday 22 June, the journey began at St Pancras, with the cyclists covering approximately 75 miles to Wellingborough. The second leg covered a similar distance from Wellingborough to Derby, with the final 40 miles from Derby to Sheffield being completed on Saturday 24 June.

Over £22,000 has been raised for Fran’s family’s chosen charity – Cancer Research UK. Paul Cater, senior portfolio manager at Network Rail’s East Midlands Route, was one of the 20 cyclists who took part in the challenge.

Paul said: “This was a fabulous team effort with the Network Rail East Midlands team coming together and working collaboratively with our delivery partners to plan and undertake this 3-day challenge, for a sadly missed friend, colleague and a great cause, Cancer Research UK.

“Fran was a popular member of the team. She was a positive and supportive influence on all those who worked with her across Network Rail and the supply chain. This is our way to celebrate this unique individual, who touched so many people in a positive way.”

When asked about his first-hand experience of the 180-mile bike ride, Paul added: “We were lucky, the English weather was on our side, apart from a 30-minute torrential downpour at the very end of the first day, where everybody was soaked to the skin in seconds. The final day’s ride commenced with more colleagues and Fran’s family joining the team to ride the first six miles from Derby to Duffield station, where we received a fantastic welcome from the Cancer Research UK team and cream scones!

“It was then onto the final leg over the Derbyshire hills to Sheffield station. All in all, it was a truly great experience, and one I am proud to have been part of.”

If you’d like to donate, head to: Ride4Fran – 180 Mile Bike Ride 22nd – 24th June #RideforFran (

Image credit: Network Rail

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