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First secondary school plan to leave cars at home

9 May 2005

First secondary school plan to leave cars at home

Mt Albert Grammar School will this Friday (13 May), become the first secondary school in New Zealand to launch a school travel plan.

Auckland City’s mayor, Dick Hubbard, will sign the travel plan along with key partners including the school’s principal, student representatives, Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), Mt Albert’s Community Board and the police. The plan aims to encourage and make it easier for more students to walk, cycle or bus to school – rather than use cars.

A survey of the school’s students and parents found around 200 students live within a 30-minute walk to the school but are driven every day.

“If we can even half this figure, that’s 100 fewer cars on the road in the Mt Albert Grammar School area. This would be a step towards reducing congestion and improving the safety for students arriving and leaving the school,” says Mr Hubbard.

The school’s travel plan includes practical and educational measures and aims to decrease traffic congestion at the school gate, enhance road safety, improve cycle and walking infrastructure around Mt Albert and promote safe driving behaviour around the school area.

“With around 40 per cent of car trips during peak traffic hours attributed to educational destinations, Auckland City is committed to addressing school related traffic to improve Auckland’s traffic flow and road safety,” says Mr Hubbard.

Some of the planned practical and educational measures include:
- building a bus bay for up to three buses outside the school gate on Alberton Avenue
- creating a pedestrian refuge for people crossing Mt Albert Road
- introducing road safety education programmes organised by Auckland City
- promoting walking as a travel option and its link with exercise and nutrition programmes
- promoting cycling, providing free bike checks and establishing a relationship with a cycle wholesaler to offer students discounted bikes
- enforcing the road rules at red lights and speed limits around the school area by the police.


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