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Cycle safety trial aims to get parents more involved

Wednesday, November 30, 2016   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: children, transport, safety, cycling

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 30th November 2016

A new trial by the Christchurch City Council’s cycle safe team aims to give parents the confidence to have their children cycling safely to and from school.

A Wheels Day at Waimairi Primary School on Monday 29th November saw Council cycle safety experts team up with Police and the NZ Trucking Association to run a full day of activities promoting cycle safety.

Experts were on site at the school all day giving children advice, including sitting them in a big rig truck to give them an idea of how to position themselves safely on the road.

Christchurch City Council Community Education Coordinator Sarah Cooper said the event at Waimairi School was an opportunity to have a look at how the current cycle safe programme could get more parent engagement.

Waimairi School pupil Anna Gillett and mother Debbie cycling to school this week.“This is a school that has been really involved in promoting active travel, and a long-stayer of the Cycle Safe programme. They are right on the Northern Line Major Cycle Route and have invested heavily in keeping their children cycle safe. We wanted to use this school to trial a different way of doing things, of trying to engage not just the child but the parent and the whole community,” Ms Cooper said.

“Our research shows that while children may be quite engaged with cycling or active travel in their early primary school years, often when they get to Year 7 or 8, and travelling distances to their Intermediate School might be a bit further or on a different route, their confidence and that of their parents, diminishes. We want to give them the skills and confidence to tackle those different routes, and that needs to come primarily from the community and the parents.”
Ms Cooper said she hoped the trial would increase the interest and participation of parents.

Waimairi School Principal Carol Coleman said the school had always encouraged active travel, and the cycle safe event was another opportunity to showcase to parents how easy active travel could be.

“We’ve always tried to encourage active travel, even if it is just parents dropping their children off a few blocks from school and encouraging the child to bike or scoot the last little stretch to school. It’s great for a child’s confidence, and leads to a bigger uptake in cycling in years to come.”

The cycle safe programme had always worked closely with Waimairi School and Mrs Coleman said today’s event was a chance for the wider school community to engage.

“We want parents to see cycling as a real option for their children to get to school, and today is about increasing awareness and confidence among our whole school community, not just the children.”

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch