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Healthy, safe and fun trip to school

Giving more families the choice of a healthy, safe and fun trip to school

The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Helen Clark, today launched the School Travel Programme for the Auckland region at the Auckland Domain – a programme that promises to give more families the choice of a healthy, safe and fun trip to school.

Local, regional and central government are working together through the School Travel Programme to reduce traffic around schools, and to make it safer and easier to get to school by walking, cycling, bus or train.

The government, through the Auckland Sustainable Cities Programme, has committed $1.5 million over two years to the programme.

The School Travel Programme builds on the success of earlier initiatives, particularly the Walking School Bus. Over 2000 Auckland children walk to school each morning on a walking bus.

Yet currently well over half (67%) of Auckland primary school children are driven to school most of the time.

“We know that children today are less active than previous generations” says ARTA Sustainable Transport Manager Anna Percy. “On average, New Zealand children spend almost four hours each week as passengers in a car, only about an hour walking, and less than quarter of an hour on a bicycle each week.”

This could change significantly with school travel plans. When the children of Browns Bay school on Auckland’s North Shore were asked how they would like to get to school, 75% said they wanted to walk, bike, bus or scooter to school and less than a quarter preferred to come by car.

At the launch, children from schools across the region competed in a range of games with a transport theme. Children and parents were encouraged to contact Rideline on 09 366 6400 for help in planning their own trip to school.

“ARTA is proud to be leading the regional School Travel Programme, and co-ordinating the many local School Travel initiatives in Auckland,” says ARTA Chief Executive Alan Thompson.

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