Hutt City Council Road Safety Coordinator Jan Simmons says, “Council road safety staff, alongside Greater Wellington’s Pedal Ready Programme and police school community officers, have steadily worked together to nurture a cycling culture among school pupils and their families.
In the past 12 months there has been a 100 per cent increase in the number of children taking these cycle skills courses. Our cycle trainers are having trouble keeping up with requests from schools.”
For five years, cycle skills training has been available in schools free of charge. This is helped by the loan of bikes from Biketec (Youthwise Trust).
‘Bikes in Schools’ projects help to raise a generation of cycle aware children. The Bike on NZ Charitable Trust supports schools nationwide to design and build bike tracks in their grounds and create and store a fleet of bikes and cycle accessories.
So far, five Lower Hutt schools have completed their ‘Bikes in Schools’ tracks, with another eight currently fundraising towards theirs. Benefits can be community-wide, as tracks are available for any local children and families to use and enjoy out of school hours.
“It’s so exciting to watch our cycling culture gaining momentum, and the end result will be a more active healthier population making good use of our existing and planned cycleways” says Simmons.