Cork City Council has become the first local authority in Ireland to receive the Smarter Travel Mark (Silver Level) from the National Transport Authority (NTA) in recognition of the range of measures rolled out by the council to facilitate, support and encourage sustainable travel options for council staff and visitors.

Ann O’Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, pictured with John O’Flynn (right), Head of Customer Experience at NTA and Frank Fitzgerald (left), Sustainable Travel & Road Safety Awareness Officer | Sports & Sustainability Section, Cork City Council.

The Smarter Travel Mark, a new initiative announced by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in May, is a three-tier certification that recognises and rewards organisations who support active and sustainable travel and reduce single-person car usage amongst their staff. All employers from the private or public sectors may apply for the Smarter Travel Mark.

Cork City Council has implemented several initiatives to help with the changeover to active and sustainable travel such as the introduction of an electric car fleet, provision of changing facilities, walking lunches, the use of regular, electric and cargo bikes as well as providing additional bike parking spaces. Over half the council staff now use sustainable and active travel to travel to and from work.

Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, said that achieving the Smarter Travel Mark demonstrates that the council prioritises the importance and value of sustainable travel initiatives and the associated environmental benefits. “We look forward to implementing further Smarter Travel initiatives to support staff in choosing environmentally friendly transport options,” she added.

Anne Graham, NTA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Smarter Travel Mark is a recognition of employer led sustainable travel initiatives which are essential to reducing the impact of our collective dependence on the car as a mode of travel. Reducing carbon emissions and alleviating traffic congestion is a priority. I would encourage all employers to be part of the Smarter Travel Mark initiative.”

Check out this introductory video on the NTA’S Smarter Travel Mark: