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St Mathew’s Primary School in Hastings has seen such an upsurge in the number of pupils riding to school, that they needed to install new bike racks.
There are now so many pupils cycling to school each day that they ran out of places to put the bikes. Contact was made with the Hastings District Council iWay coordinator Owen Mata, and two new bike racks were installed, to help keep the bikes tidy during the school day.
Principal Tim Anderson says “It’s great to see so many pupils now enjoying their ride to school. They get some exercise and arrive in the classroom energised and ready to face the day. Riding to school has also helped alleviate some of the traffic congestion which is caused by parents driving their kids to school.”
“The new cycle lanes which have been created around Hastings are certainly raising awareness about the value of cycling and the kids have discovered it is a healthy and fun way to get to school. Getting kids on to bikes may also encourage more parents to take up riding regularly.”
“We even have one family biking from Flaxmere to St Mathews School. This is a deliberate move by family members to increase their fitness levels for Saturday sport. The exercise has worked well and has helped their daughter make her netball age group rep team,” Mr Anderson says.
“The school is serious about getting 'more kids on bikes' and we are very grateful to Hastings District Council and iWay for their support with the new bike stands - it is great to see our rider numbers increasing.”
A 25% increase in cyclists over the last two years has helped raise the national profile of cycling in Hastings, and the numbers are expected to grow further with the addition of more cycle facilities.
Studies have shown that cycling can be an important part of a child’s development, not just for health reasons, but also in helping with road awareness – an important skill for tomorrow’s drivers. The iWay project offers schools access to skills training, school travel planning and promotions.
iWay is a project of the Hastings District Council, which makes cycling easy, safe and fun. To find out more about iWay and the location of the cycleways around Hastings go to www.iway.org.nz