BUS drivers who got on their bike to keep fit were among those to be rewarded for charity fundraising efforts last night.

The ‘fitness drive’ by staff at Taunton’s First Bus station coined in £533 as part of Taunton Rotary Club’s 50-50 Cycle Ride, held back in June.

They picked up the President’s Cup from Taunton Deane Mayor Terry Hall at a ceremony held at Somerset College’s Genesis Centre hosted by Rotarian Peter Renshaw.

First’s employee director Kevin Willey said: “Drivers are sat down all day so this was a good way of getting fit and healthy.”

The fundraising event sees half of the participants’ sponsor money going to Rotary charities with the remainder donated to a charity of the rider’s choice.

Mr Willey added: “We donated to brain injury charity bibic in Bridgwater so the son of driver Ian Carter can benefit.”

The person raising the most money to win a bike donated by Ralph Colman was Judy Powell, of Wellington, whose 38-mile ride yielded over £600 thanks to fellow golfers at the Taunton and Pickerage Club, friends, family and a justgiving web page.

She said: “Thank you to everyone who donated and to my husband David who sorted out my puncture in the pouring rain on the day! Our charity was Children’s Hospice South-West because David was involved in building the Little Bridge House hospice.”

Other top fundraisers won vouchers from Taunton Leisure.

The Somerset College team rode a total of 761 miles for the Skin Cancer Research Fund in memory of student Emma Isherwood who died this year. Members of Emma’s family joined the ride and the team won the County Gazette cup for schools and colleges with a total of £1,224.

A team comprising Bill Bishop, and Ben and Brian Bartlett, of the Hankridge Arms, raised £140 to win the Beer Direct Cup, raising money for a burns unit in Malawi as Bill’s daughter-in-law nurse regularly helps there.

The 280 participants raised about £8,000 with £4,500 going to Rotary charities, including a £1,500 donation to Musgrove Leukaemic Group.

RESULTS: President’s Cup for most money raised by a company, First Bus Station, £533.50; County Gazette for schools and colleges, Somerset College, £1,224; Beer Direct Cup for pubs and clubs, The Hankridge Arms, £140. Individual prizes for most money raised: 1st, Judy Powell, won a Ralph Colman bike; winners of vouchers from Taunton Leisure, 2nd Kevin Hamilton, £546; 3rd Tina Wilton £443.50; 4th Bernard Reed, £400.