Mayo County Council encouraging people to think outside the car for short journeys

Mayo County Council, Climate Officer Laura Dixon with her daughters Cliara and Muireann at The Point, Westport

Mayo County Council, Climate Officer Laura Dixon with her daughters Cliara and Muireann at The Point, Westport

Did you know driving short journeys (less than five minutes ) can be twice as polluting per kilometre due to the energy needed to start and stop the engine, and that drivers and passengers suffer the worst effects of this pollution burst as there can be up to double the amount of pollution inside vehicles?

Laura Dixon, Climate Action Officer with Mayo County Council said: "Currently the car is the main mode of transport for over 50% of journeys under 2km.

"This summer Mayo County Council is encouraging drivers to walk or cycle these short journeys instead. Cycling 2km takes less than 10 minutes and can often be quicker than a car journey when congestion and parking times are taken into consideration."

There are so many benefits of cycling short distances; improved health, reduced emissions, reduced congestion in towns, not having to worry about parking, fresh air and just the fun and freedom of cycling.

"Cycling for just 10 minutes can burn 100 calories and it is a great way of warming up and cooling down before and after a training session. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and boosts mental health.

"Choosing the bike to get to training and for all short journeys is a really easy and efficient way to incorporate exercise into your day" advises Kathryn Sullivan of the Mayo Ladies GAA team.

To assist people to make these journeys by bike or foot, Mayo County Council received over €3.3million from the National Transport Authority in 2021 and is currently undertaking active travel projects to improve infrastructure in our towns and villages for cyclists and pedestrians.

Mayo County Council is also undertaking mapping of current and proposed cycle parking facilities within Mayo. If you would like to feed into the cycle parking map go to

So next time you have to make a short journey to the shop, for training or to visit a friend or neighbour’s house, leave the car at home and enjoy the health, cost and environmental benefits of walking or cycling instead.


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