Team 161 and Happy Feet named Westport’s Smartest Travel Teams

 

Singing, rapping, learning and dancing were all part of the Operation Transportation Award ceremony on April 21st held in Westport Town Hall. Teams from the challenge came along to find out who Westport’s Smartest Travel Team was and also to enjoy the entertainment from special guests Luke Concannon and Jimmy Davis.  Click to download the results.

 

The foyer of Westport Town Hall hosted a Climate Change Expo for participants to view on arrival showing the great work been down by schools and community groups in Westport to help improve our environment. To kick off the award ceremony musicians Jimmy Davis and Luke Concannon blew the crowd away with a powerful rap about humanity followed by a few words from Cathaoirleach Christy Hyland. Overall results of what has been achieved so far by Westport Smarter Travel provided the perfect entrance to Operation Transportation and how the participants are helping create positive change in Westport. Damien Doherty, Chairman of Rice College Student council brought the importance of this positive change home to everyone with his meaningful short speech on Climate Change.

 

167 people in 35 teams participated in Operation Transportation Lenten Challenge and between them recorded over 11,000 smarter travel journeys. Participants have changed their own behaviour “The challenge has encouraged me to make more of an effort to carpool. I’m really enjoying the experience, it’s very social and I’m saving money” Hilda Carroll, Second Walkers Up. Enjoyed the benefits “It is great to break the habit of jumping in the car for such short journeys. It is actually faster for us to walk and we get all the other added benefits – healthier, cheaper, more social and the fresh air is great for the mind.” Teresa Moran, Team 161. And are setting a good example for others “There’s a real sense of achievement when you choose smarter travel and we’re delighted to be setting a good example for the school and community.” Annmarie Campion, The Stormy Quay Schoolers.

 

The Challenge was as much about participation as winning and to recognise that Westport Smarter Travel presented a number of teams with special awards. Best Team photo – The Carrs for the team picture of their daily commute; Eoghan Carr, his two daughters, school bags, fiddle and reggie the dog all on the one bike on the way to school! Best Team Slogan – The Cadden Clan for their fun slogan "With smarter travel you can have lots of laughter and get there faster."   Best Team Name – Team STUFF – Stop Travelling Using Fossil Fuels. Most Humorous feedback – Team Vert-I-Go  for providing a weekly chuckle.

 

A number of people stood out during the challenge as true leaders that inspired their team and others to participate and choose smarter travel. None more so than Annmarie Campion and Ariadna Gomez Kelly, both of whom were presented with the Operation Transportation Most Inspirational Person Award.

 

Participating in the challenge, recording results and compiling the data was a task for all team leaders. However, with 16 school teams participating the coordinators in Rice College and the Sacred Heart School had a particularly demanding role. Anna Doherty, SHS and Fergal Macken, Rice College and his TY helpers Dylan  Ralph, Elliot  McDonnell, John Keane, Alex O’ Riain were given small tokens of appreciation as a Thank You from Westport Smarter Travel.

 

The overall awards were divided into two categories; schools and public and with Luke and Jimmy on MC there was a real sense of excitement building before each announcement.

 

In the schools category Team Sticks won Most Improved team increasing their smarter travel journeys by 40% over the course of the seven weeks. Westport’s Smartest Travel School Team Runners- up went to Walking On Cars with 842 journeys winning Adventure West Ziplining vouchers and Westport’s Smartest Travel School Team 2016 is Team Happy Feet with 982 smarter travel journeys winning a day trip and adventure activities with Clare Island Adventures.

 

The public section results were equally as impressive with runners-up, Second Walkers- Up making 699 journeys, winning a team dinner in the Wyatt. And the final prize of the night, team tickets to a WST Bike Buffet, went to Team 161, Westport’s Smartest Travel Team 2016. Team 161 made 721 smarter travel journeys and completely changed the way they travel especially for the short journeys necessary for work. Members of Sacred Heart School staff, the team now walk to town for school errands and have also started walking, cycling and Park n’ Striding to work and plan to keep it up even now that the challenge is over.

 

With the awards presented and pictures taken the night finished on a high with everyone singing and dancing along to another great song by Luke and Jimmy.

 

Westport Smarter Travel would like to take this opportunity to thank all 35 teams for participating and to Westport Town Hall and community groups for making the award ceremony such a great success.

 

Click to download the results

Team Stuff

The Cadden Clan

Week 4

 

The weather wasn’t great during week four of Operation Transportation leaving most teams with slightly less smarter travel journeys but when taken as a whole, Operation Transportation participants have logged a staggering 7,000 smarter travel journeys in the first four weeks of the challenge.

 

Changes have been made in how people commute with participants now choosing to walk short journeys and in some cases make more journeys. Sacred Heart School pupils have embraced the freedom and independence of smarter travel and are now visiting friends and relations more, increasing their smarter travel journey count and catching up on some very important socialising.

Sacred Heart School staff have also changed their travel behaviour.

 

“We are really enjoying taking part in Operation Transportation. We have started walking up town for routine journeys like going to the post office or bank and even for lunch, weather permitting. It is great to break the habit of jumping in the car for such short journeys. It is actually faster for us to walk and we get all the other added benefits – healthier, cheaper, more social and the fresh air is great for the mind. We are now walking, cycling and carpooling to work as well and we will definitely keep it up even when the competition is over.” Teresa Moran, Team 161, staff from Sacred Heart Secondary School.

 

Operation Transportation runs until Easter Sunday so there is just three weeks left for teams to increase their smarter travel count in the aim to become Westport’s Smartest Travel Team.

 

The results for the top 15 teams from the schools and the public show that it’s all to play for.

 

Adventure West have added another prize to the growing list so there will be four top team prizes. There will also be more spot prizes given out over the coming weeks. Team Carrs won the first spot prize for their great smarter travel team photo. Eoghan Carr, his two daughters, Reggie the dog, school bags and violins often make the journey on one bike to Gaelscoil na Cruaiche. Their picture truly encapsulates the spirit of smarter travel. We hope you enjoy your prize of a voucher for Marlene’s Chocolates, you definitely deserve it!

 

Westport Smarter Travel will be taking part in the St. Patricks Day parade and would like to invite participants of Operation Transportation and members of the public to join us. We will meet at 1.15pm at the Sacred Heart School on St. Patricks Day.

 

 

You can follow Operation Transportation weekly in the Mayo News or on the Westport Smarter Travel Facebook page.

 

The Stormy Quay Schoolers

5,200 smarter travel in journeys made in first three weeks of Operation Transportation

 

The Carr Family

Team 161

Week 3 of Operation Transportation sees participation and smarter travel journeys continue to grow. Over 5,200 smarter travel journeys have been made in just three weeks and participation from Sacred Heart and Rice College pupils has grown to such a level that the competition has been divided into two categories – schools and public. We are now half way through the challenge and teams are beginning to notice a rhythm and pattern to their journeys. It seems the key to choosing smarter travel is to have a ‘Can do’ attitude and once you make the decision to walk, cycle, carpool etc. the rest is not only easy but also enjoyable!

 

“The challenge is fantastic. Each one of us is enjoying the benefits. Together we feel fitter, healthier and arrive at work more alert and ready for the day. We are amazed at how easy it is to choose smarter travel, you just need a ‘Can do’ attitude and some rain gear! Being part of a team has really helped us as even if we’re feeling tired or the weather isn’t great we make the effort as we don’t want to let each other down. There’s a real sense of achievement when you choose smarter travel and we’re delighted to be setting a good example for the school and community.” Annmarie Campion, The Stormy Quay Schoolers.

 

The results are attached and with the second half of the challenge just beginning there will be plenty of excitement ahead in the search for Westport’s Smartest Travel Team.

 

To celebrate the half way point, Operation Transportation teams are encouraged to email or post their team picture to the Westport Smarter Travel facebook page and the most smarter travel picture will win a spot prize.

 

 

You can follow Operation Transportation weekly in the Mayo News or on the Westport Smarter Travel Facebook page.

 

Ariadna Gomez Kelly overcame her cyclophobia and is now captain of the leading OT team, Happy Feet SHS

Operation Transportation, creating positive change - “From using my car every day, I am now two weeks into the challenge and the car hasn’t moved from in front of the house”

 

Week 2, the first full week of Operation Transportation, has seen the number of smarter travel journeys continue to increase with some teams almost doubling their number of smarter travel journeys. What has been most striking is the feedback that Operation Transportation is a great motivator to choose smarter travel and in turn enjoy the related benefits.

 

“I fully understand the benefits of smarter travel but have always found excuses to take the car. However, Operation Transportation has given me the kick start I needed to leave my car at home and to walk, cycle and carpool instead. I must say I am really enjoying not using the car, Smarter travel is way more social, saves money, is good for the environment and it is helping me get back in shape. From using my car every day, I am now two weeks into the challenge and the car hasn’t moved from in front of the house!” Andrew Beatty, Second-Walkers Up.

 

 Walking is the most popular mode of travel in the challenge so far. Carpooling, Park n’ Stride and public transport are also common among the teams and the number of cycling journeys continues to increase. 45 teams are now registered and 1,300 smarter travel journeys have been made in the first 12 days of the challenge. Results from the top 15 teams are graphed below. As you can see competition is stiff but with five weeks left there is still plenty of time for change.

 

You can follow Operation Transportation weekly in the Mayo News or on the Westport Smarter Travel Facebook page.

 

Lilian & Reuben Brady of team Vert-I-Go enjoying some sunshine as they Park n’ Stride from school for Operation Transportation.

Over 40 teams participating in this year’s Operation Transportation

Over 40 teams have entered this year’s Operation Transportation, the Westport Smarter Travel challenge that encourages participants to rethink their daily commute and to choose smarter travel instead over the Lenten period.

 

Now in the third year of Operation Transportation, the challenge was changed slightly to open it up to more participants. Previously is was business and community group focused, however this year, all members of the community can participate by entering a team of 4-6 people. Families, workplaces, community groups, friends and schools have all entered teams this year making for a very diverse challenge.

 

The weather was quite changeable over week one of Operation Transportation but the feedback has been consistently positive with the social aspect of commuting sustainably highlighted repeatedly by participants:

“The challenge has encouraged me to make more of an effort to carpool. I’m really enjoying the experience, it’s very social and I’m saving money” Hilda Carroll, Second Walkers Up.

 

“We met some friends while cycling into town along the Greenway. That wouldn’t have happened if we were travelling by car” Merial Donaghy, Vert-I-go.

 

Fresh air, exercise, more energy and feeling more invigorated were some of the other benefits highlighted by participants.

“By carpooling I am now a lot less tired in the evenings as I don’t have to drive as far” Francesca Smith, Sancta Maria College.

The top 10 smarter travel teams from week 1 are graphed below. With six weeks of the challenge left and a lot more smarter travel journeys to go, we’re sure there will be lots of changes before we name Westport’s Smartest Travel team.

 

The winning team will win a day’s activities with Clare Island Adventure. There are also runners up prizes and spot prizes throughout the challenge. There is still time to register your team by emailing westportsmartertravel@gmail.com.

You can follow Operation Transportation weekly in the Mayo News or on the Westport Smarter Travel Facebook page.

 

Consider choosing Smarter Travel this Lent

Click here to download a log book (Microsoft Excel, 435Kb)

Westport Town Council, Altamont Street, Westport, County Mayo, (Ballinrobe Rd, opposite Railway Station).

Phone: (098) 50400. Email  westporttc@mayococo.ie