Pupils at Newtown Public School got on their bikes and joined more than 2,000 other schools across Australia celebrating National Ride2School Day on Friday 23 March.
The inner city school hosted a morning of bike-based fun with the City of Sydney providing free bike bells, tune ups and prizes for the best dressed ride. Pupils were offered road safety tips showing that riding in the area is a safe, fun and easy way to get to school.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Ride2School Day is a great opportunity for local families to have more fun on the school run while helping to reduce traffic congestion around schools.
“Ride2School day is all about children discovering how much fun it is to ride, skate or scoot to school,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Active students are more alert, confident and independent. Walking or riding to school in the morning can really help keep kids energised and help them focus in class.”
“We’re building a network of safe separated cycleways, shared paths and quiet streets so people of all ages can keep moving in our city.”
Young City of Sydney residents are bucking the trend and riding at double the amount of their greater Sydney peers. A 2017 national survey found 40 per cent of 10 to 17 year olds regularly ride in the city. One fifth of adults in the city also ride regularly, a 6 per cent increase from 2016.
Across Australia the number of children who are physically active has dropped significantly since the 1970s when 80 per cent of children walked or cycled to school. Today, around 24 per cent of Australian children under the age of 18 are classified as overweight and two thirds of kids travel to and from school by car.
Newtown Public School principal Abbey Proud said ride2School day was a great opportunity for her pupils.
“The students at Newtown Public School are so enthusiastic and it’s great to see their excited smiles when they arrive at the school gates on their bikes, scooters, skateboards or on foot,” Ms Proud said.
“Riding with your children is a great way to model safe riding behaviour and to teach them to be more independent.”
The City of Sydney is planning a new cycleway along Wilson and Burren Streets to connect Newtown and Redfern, with construction due to start later this year. 40km/h speed limits were introduced to Newtown streets last year in a bid to reduce the volume and severity of traffic crashes.
Ride2School day is organised by the national bicycle charity, Bicycle Network.
For more details contact City of Sydney Media Officer Mark Ames on 02 9246 7395, mobile 0477 705 407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jack Begbie on 0481 759 580 or email email@example.com