29 March 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
The winners of the inaugural Smarter Travel Awards were announced this week with the Cork City Council being announced as business travel workplace of the year. Partners of the Smarter Travel Workplaces and Smarter Travel Campus programme from around the country submitted entries to the awards competition which recognise and celebrate the efforts that workplaces and campuses make to promote sustainable travel.
Ian Winning from Cork City Council said: “Cork City Council’s vision is for a prosperous and sustainable city, and sustainable travel is at the very core of this concept. We seek to influence travel demand patterns and choice to support an integrated and sustainable transportation system, and to reduce congestion and emissions, so the best demonstration of this commitment is to lead by example and reduce the City Council’s own carbon footprint for business travel in Cork.”
Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer at the National Transport Authority said: “A growing number of Irish organisations are engaging in Smarter Travel, working with their staff and students to facilitate travel choice in favour of more sustainable transport, resulting in reduced costs, enhanced employee wellbeing, better access and more effective parking management. Smarter Travel Plans can reduce an organisation’s car use by 18% on average. The promotion and facilitation of cycling in particular both on campuses and in workplaces made for strong competition, which highlights the growing interest in cycling across Ireland. The Awards are well placed to act as inspiration and leadership as we recognise organisations that are paving the way for more sustainable travel options.”
Anita Lenihan from Cork City Council added: “Our staff bike fleet of five standard bikes is widely used for attendance at meetings or site visits around the city and as well as that we have three Pedelecs to tackle the hilly northside of Cork City. Cork City Council’s vehicle fleet, includes four electric vehicles, with Zero emissions. CCC EV and Pedelec fleet was part funded on the Green eMotion EU Project. The EVs were used to participate on the European project involving 43 partners: Green eMotion – preparing the future of European electro mobility.”
Mick Finnegan, Inspector on the Urban Traffic Control System uses the Renault Kangoo for site visits throughout the wider city area and he has stated that “driving the EV is like having your own personal Luas tram – it is so quiet, smooth and quick to accelerate in traffic”.
Awards were presented in 14 categories across different modes of transport, sustainable champions and overall workplace and campus. University of Limerick took the lead amongst third-level institutions, taking home the award for Cycling Campus of the Year, Student Union of the Year, Sustainable Champions of the Year and Smarter Travel Campus of the Year award. Winners in the workplace categories included St. Vincent’s University Hospital who won Cycling Workplace of the Year and Sustainable Champions of the Year and ebay Inc. who won the Public Transport Workplace of the Year.