Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Greater need to encourage more walking and cycling to school

Greater need to encourage more walking and cycling to schools, UC expert says
January 27, 2013
The return of the school-run traffic chaos around New Zealand this week highlights the importance of plans to encourage more walking cycling and public transport use for all travel, a University of Canterbury (UC) transport expert said today.
UC Professor Simon Kingham says few people currently choose these modes of transport for everyday journeys such as travelling to work and places of education.
``The reason so few people choose to leave the car at home is not just the desire to drive, it is because of the lack of perceived alternatives. In places where there is high quality low cost public transport, many people choose to use it. Where there is safe separated cycle infrastructure many people cycle.
``Public transport in some New Zealand cities is of reasonable quality and inexpensive. However, there is still scope for significant improvement. It is also very clear that rail-based services are more attractive than bus-based systems.
``While set up costs for rail are high, they have been demonstrated time and time again to be more attractive to users. This is especially important in Christchurch where consideration of rail in the rebuild is missing.
``Cycling is a different story. Far more can be done in all New Zealand cities to make cycling more attractive. The government currently budgets less than 0.5 percent of its transport spending on cycling,’’ Professor Kingham said.
If safe separated cycle ways were provided, a significant number of people would bike to work and school. This was especially the case for young people who want to cycle but are often prevented from cycling to school because of safety concerns.
Professor Kingham said this was especially relevant in Christchurch as plans are being made to rebuild transport infrastructure in the city. Christchurch had the best natural geography to make it a true cycling city: largely flat terrain, mild climate and lots of road space to place excellent infrastructure.
``The government has to change its transport spending plans. It currently has a very strong focus on building motorways of national significance at the expense of investing in public transport and cycling. The benefits of cycling are great, especially when including the enormous health benefits of helping people be more active.
``The current debate in Christchurch about schools in the west 'poaching' students from the east is also pertinent. Students should, where possible, attend local schools which they can access by walking or cycling. The location and size of schools is not just about education benefits and financial bottom lines.
``It is also about health and wellbeing. These things should be taken into account when school zones are set, school rolls agreed and closures and mergers considered. Currently they don't seem to be part of the equation. Cycling must be considered when plans and decisions are made about how and where people choose and are encouraged to go to school.’’


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


New Zealand Geographic: Photographer Of The Year Announced

Shaun Jeffers, has won the Landscape category at the New Zealand Geographic, Photographer of the Year awards for his stunning shot of the glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves! More>>


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news