Lifestyle changes and influences globally, mean more and more people rely on private transport for their daily activities impacting on the way children travel to and from school. The increase in the number of cars on our roads impacts negatively on the health of school children, through reduced physical activity as well as creating an unsafe environment around schools. It also impacts on transport costs, traffic congestion and the environment.
Since 2007, the Timaru District Council, with the assistance of Community and Public Health have been developing and implementing School Travel Plans for a number of local schools. Several other schools within the Timaru District have expressed a desire to develop School Travel Plans for their school communities. To achieve this, the Timaru District Council and Community and Public Health, have agreed to enter into a formal funding agreement for the coordination of school travel plans in the Timaru District. The activity comprises the coordination and development of school travel plans and other active transport initiatives in the Timaru District. This involves the provision of a school travel plan coordinator by Community and Public Health to provide these services. The primary objective of the School Travel Plan Coordinator is to provide coordinated support to schools who wish to develop a school travel plan that promotes improving road safety for school students for all forms of transport in the Timaru District and Overcome the barriers to the use of active modes of transport.
School travel plans are increasingly being seen as a key concept in contributing towards safe transport with schools becoming involved for the following reasons:
- Safety around children's journeys to and from school;
- Traffic congestion, particularly around the school entrance;
- Environmental awareness.
For more information, contact the School Travel Plan Coordinator.