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Action to help get kids walking to school

May 11, 2005

Action to help get kids walking to school

North Shore City Council is investing $860,000 over the next six months on pedestrian crossings and other measures to make it safer and easier for children to walk or cycle to school.

"These crossings and traffic calming measures have been requested by schools as part of the development of school travel plans under our TravelWise to School programme," North Shore City's operations and support services manager, Tom Morton, says.

"We're making a huge effort to help kids walk or cycle to school, to reduce traffic congestion and chaos at the school gate, and help get children fitter.

"We know that despite most students living within one kilometre of their school, the majority are driven to school by mum or dad. Our research has shown kids would rather walk to school with their friends, and the work we're doing will make it easier and safer for them."

The current round of funding will go towards projects identified by 10 schools taking part in the TravelWise programme - Pinehill Primary, Target Rd Primary, Mairangi Bay Primary, Campbells Bay Primary, Vauxhall Primary, Browns Bay Primary, Bayswater Primary, Oteha Valley Primary, and Murrays Bay Primary and Intermediate schools.

North Shore City Council has applied to Land Transport New Zealand for a subsidy to cover the full cost of the new infrastructure.

The money will pay for about 30 new or improved crossings, new footpaths, and measures such as speed humps to slow down cars around schools. The council will consult local residents about the plans before starting any work.

"Most notable are the signalised pedestrian crossings on Oteha Valley Rd and Beach Rd. These will enable children to walk safely across these roads but will also provide a safe crossing for the rest of the community," says Mr Morton.

North Shore City's TravelWise to School programme is a New Zealand-first school-based sustainable transport project. The council aims to have school travel plans in place at each of the city's 80 primary schools within three years.

"More schools are ready to launch their school travel plans this month, while others are at the planning and consultation stage.

"As more travel plans are completed, we'll invest even more in infrastructure to make our roads safer for kids walking to school," Tom Morton says.

Photo opportunities: School travel plans will be launched this month at five North Shore City schools: * May 4, 2pm: Murrays Bay Primary and Intermediate * May 10, 9am: Pinehill Primary * May 11, 2pm: Sherwood Primary and Northcross Intermediate * May 13, 9am: Greenhithe Primary * May 18, 2.15pm: Devonport Primary.


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