Hibernia College named Westport’s Smartest Travel Business


Easter Sunday marked the final day of Operation Transportation. 18 of Westport’s largest employers took on the Operation Transportation Challenge for Lent. Employers and employees done their best to use a Smarter Travel mode of transport such as walking, cycling, carpooling, public transport and Park n’ Stride for their commute to work in the hope of becoming Westport’s Smartest Travel Business. Each week during Lent the businesses reported back with the number of Smarter Travel journeys made by their business. The challenge began with 230 participants but over the course of the seven weeks up to 320 people participated in total logging over 16500 Smarter Travel journeys!!


Hibernia College led from week one of the challenge followed closely by Hoban’s Centra the Quay and The Clew Bay Hotel.  Almost every participating business increased their number of Smarter Travel journeys as the weeks progressed with more staff coming on board each week and with participating staff feeling the benefits and deciding to travel sustainably more often. With two weeks left to the end of the challenge the competition was tight between Hibernia College and Hoban’s Centra with over 70% of staff choosing Smarter Travel. However, with a dedicated staff and almost 100% participation at times, Westport Smarter Travel are delighted to announce that Hibernia College are Westport’s first ever Smartest Travel business.


“We are delighted to have won the challenge. The staff in Hibernia College put in a lot of effort, particularly at the beginning but as the weeks progressed it felt less like effort and more like a sensible approach to commuting. Everyone has noted how much better they feel by either leaving the car at home or at a Park n’ Stride location and walking the rest of the way. The fresh air in the morning really helps start off the day on a positive note and active travel is such a simple way to include a little exercise into our daily routines. For some staff walking to work has actually saved them time. With the links from the estates to the Greenways around town walking to work is actually faster than coming by car and removes the stress of having to find parking and contend with traffic. We would like to thank Westport Smarter Travel for running Operation Transportation. It was a fun challenge that has helped us realise that the car is not the only way to travel and that by choosing Smarter Travel we feel better, we save money and we know that we are helping to create a better town and environment” Mary Murray, WST liaison officer for Hibernia College.


Hibernia college were presented with Westport’s Smartest Travel Business Plaque, tickets to the next Bike Buffet which will be held on June 6th and water bottles, kindly sponsored by Greenway Gifts. Greenway Gifts also sponsored a gift basket for second place which was received by Hoban’s Centra, the Quay.


Westport Smarter Travel would like to thank all the businesses that participated in Operation Transportation. Promoting the challenge and co-ordinating the weekly results was no easy task, especially in the bigger businesses so a special word of thanks must be given to the Smarter Travel liaison officers in each business. The results from each participating business will be available on www.westportsmartertravel.ie in the coming weeks.


Mary Murray and the team from Hibernia College celebrating winning Operation Transportation

Mary Murray, WST Liaison office for Hibernia College receiving Westport’s Smartest Travel Business plaque from Michael McLaughlin, Caothaoirleach, Westport Town Council

Westport Smarter Travel Mascot congratulating Hibernia College

Members of the Castlecourt Operation Transportation team receiving their participation certificate from Laura Heneghan, Westport Smarter Travel

“Operation Transportation was a very novel challenge. We have a large workforce in the Castlecourt Hotel and although it wasn’t always easy to record how staff travelled to work, it was nice to have a team challenge where everyone had the chance to be included. Some of our staff walk to work all the time, from early morning to late at night. Operation Transportation helped us recognise that and it also encouraged those of us that drive to work to reconsider our options. Everyone in the hotel is now more aware of Smarter Travel and the benefits of choosing to walk, cycle or carpool to work instead of always relying on the car.”

Cynthia Doyle, WST liaison officer, The Castlecourt Hotel



Members of the O’ Malley Group Operation Transportation team receiving their participation certificate from Laura Heneghan, Westport Smarter Travel

“It’s been an active few weeks for us all in Cosy Joe’s, The Porter House and The Mill Times Hotel with Operation Transportation. The overall feedback has been positive with everyone making an effort to either walk to work or if they live outside of Westport to park and stride to work. I am hoping it will be kept up for the  next couple of months as it has been such a success.”

Michelle McGuire, WST liaison officer, The O’ Malley Group


Members of Hoban’s Centra, the Quay Operation Transportation team receiving their participation certificate from Laura Heneghan, Westport Smarter Travel

“We are delighted to have come second place in Operation Transportation. Momentum definitely grew as the weeks progressed and the team enjoyed walking to work. It was a fun challenge and we were delighted to win spot prizes throughout the challenge, it helped to keep the team engaged and the feedback from the Bike Buffet was great.”

Bríd O’ Neill, WST liaison officer, Hoban’s Centra, the Quay


Members of the Supervalu Operation Transportation team receiving their participation certificate from Laura Heneghan, Westport Smarter Travel

“The Supervalu Operation Transportation team enjoyed the challenge. Enjoying the fresh air early in the morning and not having to look for parking have definitely been the highlights. Staff have even noted how it is actually quicker to walk to work from the Quay than to drive because of parking and traffic. At times it is necessary to be more organised when choosing Smarter Travel  but the free tea and coffee vouchers and the general sense of well being definitely make Smarter Travel a good choice.”

Yvonne Byrne, WST liaison officer, Supervalu






Westport’s Smartest Travel Business soon to be announced

Operation Transportation is coming to an end with this being the last week of the challenge. The level of participation has continued to increase with the results from week 5 of the challenge showing over 320 participants making 2630 Smarter Travel journeys. Martina Mitchell, a chef in the Westport Plaza was singled out as one of the staff that makes a special effort. “I walk in from the Quay to work almost every day, the weather has been great most of the time and it is a great way of keeping my fitness up, the Quay hill makes sure of that! I work different shifts but whether it’s 7am or 10pm I enjoy the walk and feel safe. Operation Transportation has been a great reason to make the extra effort; I have enjoyed the challenged and hope to continue walking as a form of transport.”


Spot Prizes for last weeks Spring Forward Celebration were given to Martina in the Westport Plaza, Leave no Trace in Westport Town Council and a special spot prize was given to Hobans, the Quay for dramatically increasing their Smarter Travel journeys. With this being the last week of the challenge employees and businesses are encouraged to make a special effort to travel sustainably and gain some points for their workplace. It is a tight race at this stage but the results from this week will help determine who is Westport’s first Smartest Travel Business!!


See the graph on the right for the results so far.


















Spring Forward Celebrations and Operation Transportation Week 4 results

Week 4 of Operation Transportation and it continues to grow. More participants, more smarter travel journeys and more positive feedback. It’s currently a tight battle between Hibernia College, The Clew Bay Hotel and Hobans Centra the Quay for the top spot but other businesses are also creeping their way up. Fionn Loftus of Leave No Trace Ireland and based in Westport Town Council has used many Smarter Travel choices over the challenge “It’s very easy for me to carpool to work each day instead of driving. Sometimes I have to wait a little longer to get to work, but it’s a small sacrifice and to be honest, I am surprised how easy it is to reduce my carbon footprint. I try to cycle or walk to meetings or office errands in town making use of the opportunity to spend time outside of the office”

To recognise the penultimate week of Operation Transportation and to celebrate the evenings getting longer, Westport Smarter Travel is holding a Spring Forward Celebration. The celebration will run from Wednesday April 9th to Friday April 11th. Westport Walks Wednesday (WWW), No Car Thursday (NCT) and Feet First Friday (FFF) are the daily themes and the whole town is encouraged to get involved and to consider leaving the car at home and making a Smarter Travel journey. The celebrations will begin on Wednesday with the launch of the ‘Name the WST Mascot’ competition. A biodiversity and edible landscapes walk will be held on the Greenway on Thursday, starting at 5.30pm at the Skate Park and finishing in the Quay community centre for refreshments. And the grand finale will be the Bike Buffet on Friday where participants will cycle from venue to venue to taste some of Westports finest foods. Meeting at the Mill Times for Mocktails at 6.30pm, this 5 course bike buffet is a steal at €20. Cycling diners will finish the evening in the Clew Bay hotel where they will be part of the public vote for the ‘What Does Westport Smarter Travel mean to you?’ film competition. If you would like to come on the biodiversity walk or to the bike buffet please book by emailing westportsmartertravel@gmail.com by Wednesday April 9th.

Entries for the film competition must be received by Westport town Council or by westportsmartertravel@gmail.com by Tuesday April 8th














Week  three Operation Transportation update

Once again the numbers for Operation Transportation are increasing; almost 330 participants from 18 of Westports biggest employers took part last week logging 2670 Smarter Travel journeys. The Clew Bay Hotel put in a massive effort and moved straight up past Hibernia College and Hobans Centra to take the title of Westport’s Smartest Travel Business for week 3, 17th – 23rd of March. See graphed results on the right.


 Mary Sheridan of Clew Bay Hotel “The whole team is enjoying the challenge. Everyone loves the fresh air in the morning, it gives you a little pep in your step for the rest of the day. I Park n’Stride from Tesco carpark and I thought it would be hard to leave home the extra 10 minutes earlier but now I hope to continue to do it even after the challenge. Nellie Meehan Parks n’ Strides from the Skate Park and initially she found Tober hill a challenge but after walking it a few times she has really found her fitness has increased. It has been a great way to learn more about our team as well. A special mention must be given to Martin Zaif and Peter Skobelski who cycle and walk for their split shifts, making four Smarter Travel journeys each day!”


Spot prizes were given out this week to mark the midpoint of the competition. The winners are: Darragh O’Neill of Hibernia College, David Ruddy of Hobans Centra, Zsolt Zselyi of Hotel Westport, Laura Lencla of Carraig Donn and Declan Ryan Allergan.

The winners won two tickets each to the Westport Smarter Travel Bike Buffet, a fun event where we bike from restaurant to restaurant to sample some of Westport’s finest foods.

Meet in the Mill Times Hotel at 6.30pm for Mocktails then pedal on to the Atlantic Coast Hotel for starters and through the stunning grounds of Westport House to Gracy’s Café Bar for some gourmet pizza. For the main course jump back on your bike to Hotel Westport and finally relax in the Clew Bay Hotel for some top quality dessert and short films on Westport Smarter Travel.

The event is on Friday 11th April, starting at the Mill Times at 6.30pm and costs €20. If you would like to join in the fun book your place by Wednesday 9th April by emailing westportsmartertravel@gmail.com.


Free teas and coffees are available at Westport Smarter Travel cafes for participants of Operation Transportation. If you would like to redeem one contact your employments WST liaison person to collect a voucher.


And don’t forget the Westport Smarter Travel Film competition.

Brief is to make a 2-3min film of what Westport Smarter Travel means to you. Videos can be made using a smart phone or any other movie-making equipment and supplied on disk (USB stick or CD/DVD) to Westport Town Council, Altamount St. or uploaded to Dropbox or GoogleDrive. For further information, contact westportsmartertravel@gmail.com.

Deadline is 4pm, Tuesday 8th, April. The movies will be open for a public vote on Saturday April 12th at the Cycling Shorts event as part of WST Spring Forward festival.

First Prize is a GoPro HD camera, second €100 and third €50.

























Week two Operation Transportation update and Westport Smarter Travel competitions

Operation Transportation is going from strength to strength. 300 participants from 17 of Westport biggest employers took part this week logging over 2400 Smarter Travel journeys. Hibernia College are still in the lead but Hoban’s Centra, The Quay aren’t far behind. Other workplaces such as AMO, the Westport Plaza and Westport Town Council seen their participation grow substantially in week two.

Feedback from the competition is very positive. Bríd O’Neill of Hoban’s has this to say “We are enjoying taking part in the challenge. The majority of our staff have opted to leave the car at home and walk to and from work. As the weather improves we hope more staff will take part. We would especially like to mention David Ruddy who gets the bus from Murrisk each day and then walks to town each afternoon to catch the bus back home. David's enthusiasm keeps us all in high spirits.”


Next week marks the midway point to finding Westport’s Smartest Travel Business. To help keep the motivation up spot prizes will be given by Westport Smarter Travel to participants so, if your company is taking part, make sure to log your Smarter Travel journey to be in with a chance of winning. For the overall results see the graph below.


Other Smarter Travel competitions that you may be interested include:


Westport Smarter Travel Film competition.

Brief is to make a 2-3min film of what Westport Smarter Travel means to you. Videos can be made using a smart phone or any other movie-making equipment and supplied on disk (USB stick or CD/DVD) to Westport Town Council, Altamount St. or uploaded to Dropbox or GoogleDrive. For further information, contact westportsmartertravel@gmail.com.

Deadline is 4pm, Tuesday 8th, April.

The movies will be open for a public vote on Saturday April 12th at the Cycling Shorts event as part of WST Spring Forward festival.

First Prize is a GoPro HD camera, second €100 and third €50.



Westport Smarter Travel Photography Competition

Whether you are a budding photographer or just like to take photos on your compact camera or smartphone, we want you to share your best photos with The Smarter Travel Team in Westport.

BRIEF: The photograph must portray people using Smarter Travel modes within the Town of Westport. Transport on foot, Bike, Bus, Skate board, etc...

Vibrant, happy, and current.

DATES: Photographs taken between February 2014 and July 2014.

CATEGORIES: Road Safety, Modal Shift, Cycle commute, Cycle tourist, Cycle fun.


Week 1 Results of Operation Transportation are in!

The results from week one of the six week Lenten Operation Transportation are in. Hibernia College are leading the way with the most Smarter Travel journeys per employee, followed closely by Hobans Centra at the Quay and the Portwest factory.  Each employee records their Smarter Travel journeys made to and from work or during work with a point given for each journey. The total number of sustainable journeys is evaluated against the number of employees in the company, the results are then weighted to fairly compare businesses. 220 people took part in week one of the challenge with 1200 Smarter Travel journeys made. With more businesses joining in for week two, more employees taking part and more bike parking in place around town the competition promises to remain interesting.  Smarter Travel choices made during week one included walking, cycling, carpooling, public transport or using the Park n’Stride locations around the town. A special mention must be given to An Post employee Padraic Marrey who cycles from Ballinrobe to Westport for work at 6am!

Westport’s Smartest Travel Business will be announced at an award ceremony at the end of April. Other prizes will be given for most improved company, best individual, highest employee participation, as well as other spot prizes. Participating businesses and employees are also encouraged to enter the Westport Smarter Travel Photography Competition by uploading pictures of their Smarter Travel journey to the Westport Smarter Travel facebook page.


Participating staff have also being enjoying free tea and coffee in participating Westport Smarter Travel cafes.


If your business has over 10 employees and would like to take part please get in touch with Westport Smarter Travel at westportsmartertravel@gmail.com or by contacting Westport Civic Office.

The Park n’ Stride locations include the Old CBS on the Newport road, The Skate Park on the West road, Portwest carpark from 8am – 6pm on Castlebar road and Tesco carpark, lower level on the Ballinrobe road.


Hibernia College staff

Hotel Westport staff

Staff at Hoban’s Centra, The Quay

Carraig Donn Operation Transportation team with Laura Lenclu, winner of WST OT spot prize

Zsolt Zselyi, Hotel Westport, spot prize winner for Operation Transportation with Tony Hynes WST liaison office for Hotel Westport and Laura Henegha of Westport Smarter Travel

David Ruddy, Operation Transportation Spot Prize winner with Sean Hoban, Centra

Declan Ryan, winner of Operation Transportation Spot Prize with AnnMarie Egan, WST liaison officer in Allergan

Darragh O Neill of Hibernia College, winner of Operation Transportation spot prize with Laura Heneghan of Westport Smarter Travel

Westport Town Council staff

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

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