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Avondale children play their part by walking

26 October 2004

Avondale children play their part by walking

Avondale Primary School launches its school travel plan tomorrow which aims to encourage more children to walk and cycle to school.

Auckland City’s chief executive, Bryan Taylor, will be joined by Avondale Primary School’s principal, Cathie Mcleod, and chief inspector George Fraser from the NZ Police to sign the travel plan on behalf of each partner in the plan.

Auckland City’s road safety manager, Karen Hay, says the level of community support for the plan has been phenomenal.

“The focus of travel plans is to work with the community, including schools and parents to identify barriers and solutions to reducing car use and improve safety for children travelling to and from school,” she says.

“With around 40 per cent of trips in the morning peak attributed to school and educational destinations, Auckland City is committed to addressing school related traffic to improve road safety and traffic flow.

“Most children live within a walking distance from their school, yet fewer children are walking to school. Surveys done as part of the programme show that the biggest reason parents are driving their children to school is concern about road safety,” says Ms Hay.

School travel plans are being undertaken in a number of schools across the Auckland region. This is the first for Auckland city. The plans include practical and educational measures such as: road safety programmes safe walking routes pedestrian crossings police enforcement of road rules at red lights.

Avondale Primary is also running Wacky Walking Wednesdays. These are fun days promoting walking as an alternative for travelling to and from school. The school’s classes are divided into eight walking groups (senior and junior classes are mixed together) and walk eight different routes during school time. The idea is to get children use to and comfortable with walking around the area.

Ends Note to editors: The launch and signing of the school travel plan is tomorrow (27 October) between 2pm and 2.30pm at the Avondale town square. Avondale school children will be seen walking into the Avondale town square and meeting under the Avondale Spider to celebrate (photo opportunity).

ENDS

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