THE inaugural Bespoke Festival has been hailed a success after thousands of people attended the various events.
The week-long festival was organised by Limerick Smarter Travel (LST) as part of National Bike Week, and aimed to highlight the benefits of smarter travel.
LST is the result of a 2009 Department of Transport smarter travel policy initiative. Limerick came out on top of 38 other local authority proposals to become Ireland’s demonstration city for smarter travel.
The bespoke bike festival is just one of a series of awareness raising events on the benefits of more sustainable forms of transport organised by LST.
Kay Cullinane, of the project, says: “It’s really exciting for Limerick. From now until 2016 we are working on a team that is encouraging, promoting and facilitating smarter travel.
“It’s not just cycling, it’s walking, using public transport and car sharing,” she added.
“We want to reduce our carbon footprint but it means so much more as well. It’s good for your health and finances on a personal level but also it’s really good for the city as well. We’re trying to connect the city,” said Ms Cullinane.
Marian Dinneen, of UL and LST, hopes the project can offer a holistic approach to smarter travel by incorporating the benefits of a healthier lifestyle alongside infrastructural improvements.
“It’s not just about bike paths; delivering the infrastructure is only successful if people actually use it. So we are leading a community based design process,” said Ms Dinneen.
It was this commitment to innovation alongside an inclusion of society’s stakeholders that helped LST win the funding tender. The project has visited numerous schools throughout the city; getting schoolchildren to map their routes to school, highlighting any dangerous areas that need addressing.
The scheme is currently working on five routes and ten links over four hubs towards the east of the city.
The infrastructure funding will go towards joining together the cycle paths already in place.