Great Yorkshire Bike Ride – 21 June 2014

The ‘Great Yorkshire Bike Ride’ was held on 21st June 2014 and started at the racecourse in Wetherby running through to Filey Brigg. The event has been held for over 30 years and Wetherby Lions have managed the logistics of the event for most of that time.

You can see more of the event at and read more about Wetherby Lions at

This year 1,737 riders took part and the organisers were hoping to beat the £133,092 raised last year for the various charities supported by The Lions.

In previous events, the general issue had been poor mobile voice communications in parts of the Wolds. Staff are located in a Contact Centre (CC) at the Days Inn Hotel, Wetherby Services on the M1, and direct the eight Service Vehicles (SV) and three motorcycle marshals to riders that have issues with their bikes or generally need assistance.

The staff in the CC direct the SVs to rider ‘breakdowns’; however this is challenging without voice communications and they needed a tool that allowed them to communicate information to all SVs. This was highlighted last year when the Duty Contact Centre Manager sent a SV back some 20 miles to then be told later in the day that a colleague SV had already assisted the rider.

The event organisers wanted to consider an email to text service to address the issue, to ensure that texts were successfully transmitted to all SVs. The SV staff had agreed that they were better placed than the CC staff to agree which SV would attend a rider breakdown. It would also be helpful if the SVs could return a text received by the CC staff on email; however this part was not essential.

With over 15 years experience as a telecommunications provider, aql agreed to provide bulk text messaging as a free of charge service, enabling reliable communications to take place during the event.

The service was a great success, with John Wardley, Logisitics Manager commenting, “The bulk SMS programme was a ‘major hit’ with the GYBR Contact Centre staff and the Service Vehicle engineers; the facility totally changed the protocol that we used to support the riders. Rider waiting times for service and medical assistance were greatly reduced; it also was a ‘great hit’ from their point of view.

Adam Beaumont – CEO, aql, said, “It was our pleasure to provide the services and we’re happy to do so for any future events. It is great to support local causes.

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