A ‘bike bus’ of up to 200 children, parents and teachers from Crown Street Public School will ride to morning lessons this week, along the Bourke Street cycleway, as part of Ride2School Day.
They will join thousands of children around Australia riding two wheels to show how active transport can make for healthy, alert and happy kids.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who will greet the bike bus at Crown Street Public School on Friday, said children living near Sydney’s growing cycleway network were getting back in the saddle.
“Thirty years ago, more than 80 per cent of children rode bikes to school or walked, but that has fallen to only 20 per cent today,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Incredibly, most students still live within two kilometres of the school gate. They just need safe, well connected bike lanes and our experience shows that if you build the infrastructure people will ride.”
“Children who ride or walk to school arrive clear-headed and ready to learn. It also reduces traffic congestion during peak drop-off and pick-up times, and means fewer parking problems on local streets.”
School principal Craig Nielsen, who will lead the bike bus, said: “Riding together to school ticks so many boxes. It’s good exercise, it’s sustainable, and it makes for healthy hearts and minds.
“We already have more than a third of pupils riding to school, and our aim for Ride2School day is to reach nearly 100 per cent participation.”
MEDIA/ PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
When: Ride2School Day, Friday 22 March 2013
Where: Crown Street Public School: rear gate – located at end of Denham St, Surry Hills
What: Lord Mayor Clover Moore greets children arriving at school on their bikes
Latest independent counts show an 89 per cent increase in the number of bike trips across Sydney over the past two-and-a-half years.
Ride2School day is also an opportunity to teach children to cycle safely in the community. Children under the age of 12 are allowed ̶ and encouraged ̶ to ride bikes on footpaths.
Participating schools in the City of Sydney Local Government Area can win a voucher from a bike shop or have the chance to win the inaugural Sydney Cycleways Ride2School Day Trophy. Prizes will be awarded to the school with the greatest percentage of students walking or riding to school on the day.
Riding a bike is encouraged beyond Ride2School Day with The Hands Up! active travel survey conducted once a month to monitor how many students continue riding to school. More information: ride2School.com.au.
The City of Sydney also supports local schools with free courses at the Sydney Park Cycling Centre. Designed for 8-10 year olds, the junior program focuses on the skills young riders need to use a bike safely on shared paths and footpaths. Since late 2011, about 90 courses have been held involving dozens of local schools and about 1,200 students each year. To register, click here.
Over the past two years, the City has also installed 26 bike racks at local schools for up to 113 bikes.
For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Leanne Bridges, phone 0434 320 768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson 0427 044 768 or email@example.com