One hundred and seventy-nine schools across the region have qualified for a Travelwise award this year.
Of the 95 Auckland schools that attended Auckland Transport's annual Travelwise celebration, 50 were awarded gold for their work to encourage active transport to school and working with their local communities to reduce congestion.
What is the Travelwise programme?
The Travelwise programme works with primary, intermediate and secondary schools to:
- encourage and increase use of active travel modes and public transport
- provide safer facilities for all road users
- reduce congestion around schools.
With Travelwise, schools create individualised Safe School Travel Plans with visions and practical actions to create a safer and less-congested environment outside the school.
Making active transport journeys to school safer
"The Travelwise celebration event rewards student leaders, lead teachers and school management for all the work they do in their schools during the year to promote road safety and sustainable transport," says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport's Manager of Walking, Cycling and Road Safety.
Councillor Cathy Casey, Chair of the Community Development and Safety Committee, presented the awards at the celebration.
"It is so encouraging to see our young people and their families leaving their cars at home to walk or cycle to school," she says.
"Every school that makes active transport a part of their school ethos has made a real commitment not only to their students, but also to the wider community."
"As well as the health benefits, these schools are committed to reducing congestion in their neighbourhoods and making streets safe for all ages."
Becoming part of school culture
Edendale Primary School earned a gold award for its Slow Down Around Schools campaign and its work with students to promote a new zebra crossing to get to class safely.
Lead teacher Annaliese Van Dam says Travelwise is an important part of the school culture.
"We fully support the Travelwise programme through an amazing student group that works to promote road safety and active transport to their school community."
The celebration included 648 students from 95 of the participating schools.