By Georgia Parsonson
Council’s Active School Travel Program encourages students and their families to embrace active transport options to reduce traffic congestion, promote healthier and more active lifestyles, and increase traffic and road traffic safety awareness among children.
Due to COVID-19, school recruitment has been suspended for a year, but Public and Active Transport Chair Councillor Ryan Murphy is optimistic the program may remain on course to welcome new schools in 2022.
“Every single trip taken by walking or riding is one less car on the road, which helps reduce traffic congestion in our suburbs during school hours,” Cr Murphy said.
“The Active School Travel program is free for primary schools that want healthier, more active students and parents, and also delivers greater road safety awareness and reduces congestion.
“Our program has earned its place as an award-winning education initiative, with more than 121,000 students across 166 schools having participated in the program since 2004.
“Applying to be an Active Travel School is a competitive process, so we encourage any schools wanting to participate in 2022 to start the application process now, as just 11 spaces remain.”
Cr Murphy said the program has seen thousands of families switch to active transport for the school drop-off.
“In 2020, we recorded 40% of our 18,000 participants actively travelled, with some schools reporting up to 70% uptake and around 4500 more walking trips per week from first-year schools,” he said.
“Even better, we recorded a 97% satisfaction rate among Active School Travel members and benefits that went beyond physical activity.
“We consistently receive stellar feedback from schools that participate, including 100 per cent of survey respondents saying the program helped to increase overall physical activity levels, and they would recommend the program to other schools.
“Participating schools can access tailored support from an Active School Travel officer, free 60-minute bike and scooter skills training program, RACQ Streets Ahead road safety session, business orientation session for senior students and curriculum for teachers.”
“The Schrinner Council is also building upon the success of the Speed Awareness Monitors program and commenced the delivery of 100 permanent SAMs near Brisbane schools over the next four years, to help create safer environments for students to travel to school.
“There were 31 SAMs installed in 2020-21, and an additional 69 SAMs are scheduled for installation over the next three years.”
To participate in the Active School Travel Program in 2022, complete the online application form by Friday, 17th of September 2021. The application can be found at: https://forms.brisbane.qld.gov.au/apply-active-school-travel-2022