Wanaka primary-age students and their families are being invited to take a fresh, new look at school travel choices, Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis Mander said.
“With Wanaka Primary School moving to its new location in October the timing is perfect to take a good look at how children travel to and from school,’ Mr Mander said.
The Council had taken the opportunity to look at implementing a number of safety measures in what is becoming the Wanaka education precinct, including Mount Aspiring College, the Montessori School and the Holy Family School.
“The Council has implemented a range of infrastructure measures to support safe walking and cycling to school, like the shared path facility on Aubrey Road,” Mr Mander said.
Now the Council wanted to work with the schools and their students on addressing travel choices.
“What we know is that on different days of the week up to 75% of children are being driven to school by parents, which in turn creates parking, safety and health issues,” Mr Mander said.
Research also showed that what children actually preferred was to bike, walk or bus to school.
“Our recent survey of both the Holy Family and Wanaka Primary School showed that convenience and distance were the two main reasons for driving children to school,” he said.
To work on the challenge the Council wanted to hear from students and their families on ideas and priorities to help promote improved travel choices.
“We have arranged some informal ‘drop in’ sessions to talk about the issues and for the Council to listen to ideas and suggestions,” Mr Mander said.
Three ‘drop in’ sessions would be held, with each being open to any school students and their families:
Wanaka Primary School (Tenby Street) on Thursday 9 September from 2.15-3.15pm.
Holy Family School on Thursday 9 September from 7pm- 8.30pm
Holy Family School on Friday 10 September from 2.30-3.30pm.