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Making plans to get Auckland kids moving

MEDIA RELEASE
06 November 2003

Making plans to get Auckland kids moving

Plans are afoot to improve options and safety for children getting to school, and give them one less excuse for being late!

Auckland City Council’s Transport Committee is supporting greater efforts to create alternatives for school kids other than being dropped off by car, or for older students driving themselves. The ‘Travel Plans for Schools’ programme is supported as a way to reduce school-related travel congestion and safety issues, as well as promoting alternative modes of transport to and from school.

“The initiative is a common-sense approach,” says Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. “The overall goal of the programme is for as many participating schools as possible to have a travel plan that identifies any potential barriers to safe and active transport to and from school. We can then work with the individual schools to reduce or remove any hazards and ensure a safer environment for our kids to travel in.”

“ We already have Walking School Buses, Chaos at the School Gate and other programmes working well in some schools. The travel plans initiative will co-ordinate these programmes and other initiatives to create school-specific plans that make walking and cycling to school both safer and more attractive, and will assist in identifying possible passenger transport improvements. An identified outcome is a reduction in cars making short trips in the peak periods,” says Mr McKeown.

The programme involves schools, parents, children and communities working together to define their travel preferences and identify barriers that prevent safe and active travel to and from school. Currently, traffic congestion from school-related travel is a major contributor to Auckland’s traffic problems. There is less traffic congestion in Auckland during school and university holidays because travel to education makes up approximately 40 per cent of morning peak travel. School car journeys have approximately doubled since the mid-1980s.

School travel-related accidents are another problem that the programme aims to reduce – in the last five years there have been more than 200 on-road crashes involving children under 15 years old in Auckland city, and well over half of these occurred on journeys to and from school.

The programme will be introduced in the new year.

ENDS

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