A SALE cabbie's slowest taxi ride became a quick way to raise money for charity.

It took three hours for Ian Reid and his fellow cabbies to pull a taxi four and half miles from Didsbury village to Manchester's Albert Square.

And while Mr Reid, from Brooklands, was otherwise engaged, a team of helpers collected en route for St Ann's Hospice and Lancasterian Specialist School in west Didsbury.

Mr Reid said: "A lot of taxi drivers are out of shape because of the nature of their work and this was a way of highlighting the need for them to get fit and raise money for two deserving causes.

"A few of us have had friends and relatives treated at St Ann's Hospice which is such an important part of the community, while Lancasterian School does tremendous work for pupils with special needs."

He added: "It was the most tiring trip I've had into town along Wilmslow Road but well worth the effort and I'd like to thank everyone for supporting us."

It was the latest fitness challenge undertaken by Manchester Taxi Aid, a charity set up by Ian and colleague John Consterdine to enable black cab drivers to help the community.

Among those pulling their weight on the journey was Saleem Khan, who adapted the vehicle at his garage, where he maintains black cabs, and Dave Calvert, head teacher at Lancasterian School.

This story is about a taxi driver from Brooklands so might be appropriate for the Messenger.

Organisers are Ian Reid is on 07940 072596 and John Consterdine on 07946 239221.