News & Events
Westport’s first Bike Buffet a massive success
Westport Smarter Travel held its first ever Spring Forward Celebration last week. Westport Walks Wednesdays, No Car Thursday and Feet First Friday were the daily themes. The lengthening days and fine weather all helped to encourage people to consider leaving their cars at home and to choose to travel the Smarter Travel way. Pupils in the town schools walked and cycled to school helping to noticeably reduce the usual morning congestion. Spot Prizes were given to each school and pupils that travelled sustainably entered a raffle for the spot prizes.
A special competition was run with the first years in Rice College. Based on the success of Operation Transportation, Westport’s Smartest Travel Business challenge, the search was on for Westport’s Smartest Travel Class. The pupils reported how they travelled to school during each Geography Class over a two week period. The class with the most Smarter Travel journeys were then crowned Westport’s Smartest Travel Class. Bus, bike, walk, park n’ stride and carpool were all Smarter Travel modes of transport that received points. Over 70% of first year pupils travelled sustainably during the challenge with 1C making the greatest effort and in turn becoming Westport’s Smartest Travel Class!
However, the Bike Buffet and the announcement of the Westport Smarter Travel film competition winners on Friday night were the highlights of the Spring Forward Celebrations. 60 hungry cyclists met up in the Mill Times Hotel for Mocktail’s and from there they began their cycling dining adventure. It began by cycling along the Greenway to the Westport Coast Hotel where cyclists were treated to delicious starters, then on through the beautiful grounds of Westport House to Gracys for some gourmet pizza and live music. Next the cyclists had to tackle the Quay hill but the downhill all the way to the main course in Hotel Westport made it all worthwhile. With full bellies the group of cyclist headed off around town with bells ringing and lights on to the final destination, the Clew Bay Hotel, for dessert and to watch the Westport Smarter Travel film entries.
The brief for the film competition was ‘What does Westport Smarter Travel mean to you?’ Seven great entries were received and were judged by Cllr. Michael McLaughlin and Keith Heneghen, both award winning photographers and videographers. Environmental impacts of travelling by car, nature, lego, comedy, freedom, and challenges faced were all themes that were covered in the films. Bike Buffeters and film competition entrants sat to watch the film entries in a cinema style layout in the Clew Bay Hotel while nibbling on desserts. Laughter and awe filled the room with the content and standard of the films. It was agreed that the judges had a tough job but three winners were chosen and Cllr. Teresa McGuire had the honour of presenting the winners with their prizes. First place went to PJanas productions, second to The Quay School and third to Ruan and Maud McCabe. A special mention was also given to Nathan Geraghty, Michael Wall and Oisin O’ Rourke for their commitment to their movie ‘The Race’.
“Fantastic night – so proud to live here”, “A really Smart idea – loved it”, “Excellent night, perfectly timed. When is the next one?” was just some of the very positive feedback received on the night.
Westport Smarter Travel would like to thank everyone that attended the Bike buffet and everyone that entered the film competition and in turn helped to make such a wonderful event. With all the positivity we hope to make the Bike Buffet a regular event.