School travel planning
Let's Go works with schools and kura throughout the New Plymouth District to educate and encourage the next generation to choose active and sustainable travel choices.
Schools are often the ‘hub’ of a community, therefore provide a great setting to work with the future generations of New Plymouth District.
A large number of children now come by car to school, and Let’s Go is aiming to ‘turn the tide’ on this trend. Children have a range of ways they can get to school actively, from riding a bike, walking, scootering, skating, by bus, or ‘park and walk’ (where it might not be practical for a student to come actively the whole way, but are driven some of the way).
Why travel planning?
Travel planning offers a model where Let’s Go supports school communities to explore opportunities and identify barriers to active travel for their community, plan and take actions to improve active travel, monitor progress and celebrate success!
Let’s Go aims to work in partnership with school communities to highlight that active travel has a range of benefits. It is ‘health promoting’ for children, their whanau, and the environment, it helps create safer streets, encourages independence, and is fun! It can also benefit the whole whanau and community by reducing vehicle costs and parking problems.
How does it work?
We work collaboratively with school communities (principals, staff, Boards of Trustees, whanau, and students) to develop a travel plan that outlines the priorities for increasing active travel for the school.
The Let’s Go team work with school representatives to look at travel trends in a school community, identify and prioritise issues, plan behavior change initiatives and infrastructure improvements (where necessary) and projects to increase active travel. This might be addressing road safety issues such as safe crossing points, fun school-wide promotions such as Car Free Days, through to providing the Let’s Go cyclist skills and scooter skills training programmes.
The Let’s Go school travel planning programme aims to actively involve students in the planning process, and has a Student Leader programme on offer to schools, empowering students to design and deliver their own initiatives to improve active travel.
The Let’s Go team is also able to support schools to participate in the Bikes in Schools programme, which has the objective of enabling all children access to ride a bike in safe school settings.
Who is a ‘travel planning’ school/kura?
Currently (January 2019) the following schools are actively travel planning in partnership with Let’s Go. Please note, other schools and kura engage with Let’s Go team and initiatives from time to time.
- Central School Te Kura Waenga o Ngāmotu
- Egmont Village School
- Fitzroy Primary School
- Frankley School
- Highlands Intermediate School
- Inglewood Primary School
- Manukorihi Intermediate School
- Merrilands School
- Ōākura School
- Puketapu School
- St John Bosco School
- St Joseph’s Catholic School
- Vogeltown School
- Waitara Central School
- Waitara East School
- Welbourn School
- West End School
- Westown School
- Woodleigh School
What are the results?
School travel planning has seen many successful improvements and outcomes for schools in our district. A key outcome of the school travel planning programme is to increase the number of children coming actively (or sustainably) to school to 70%. Before beginning travel planning, many schools started with as low as 30% of their school children coming actively to school. Participating schools have largely reversed this figure with on average, schools achieving 69% of tamariki getting to school actively.