Road safety  |  26 Sep 2023

A new partnership between Council, Bike On Trust and Waka Kotahi is supporting students to get the maximum benefit from their bikes and school tracks.

The first ‘Bikes in Schools Ōtautahi Hui’, recently held at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School, saw students and teachers from fifteen Christchurch schools join the Cycle Safe team and Bike on Trust for a fun day of information and games.

Stephen Wright, Transport Operations Manager at Council, says the Bikes in Schools Ōtautahi Hui was the first event of its kind to be held in Christchurch.

 “Bikes in Schools Ōtautahi Hui is a great opportunity for schools to share ideas and experiences on how to get the most out of their bikes and bike tracks.”

 The Hui was led by Council’s Travel Demand Management team, who support the Bike On Trust’s Bikes in Schools programme.

 “Our team are keen to see our school kids learn new skills and get the chance to enjoy the fun that cycling brings,” Mr Wright says.

 The Bikes in Schools programme involves schools constructing purpose-built cycle tracks on the school grounds, a fleet of new bikes and bike helmets, and storage facility, plus skills training for staff and students.

 Nine of the schools who attended the Bike Hui have Bikes in Schools at their school and the other six will have the programme implemented over summer or early next year.

 Paul McArdle from the Bike On Trust, says the trust works to give children regular and equal access to bikes and bike tracks within their school environment.

 “The Bikes in Schools programme aims to give all students the opportunity to learn how to cycle confidently and have regular access to bikes at school.”

 Mr McArdle said he was hopeful the Bike Hui model will be picked up by councils around New Zealand.

 “We hope other councils will follow Christchurch City Council’s lead, because when the cycling groups partner up, we see the real synergy happen.”

 Mr McArdle says Christchurch is investing in cycling infrastructure and school children are the future users of that infrastructure.

 “Encouraging and supporting kids to ride bikes is a natural fit for a city that is investing in its cycling infrastructure the way that Christchurch is.”

 Waka Kotahi are also supporters of children’s cycling and have developed cycling games and resources for schools to use to help to get the most out of their bikes and bike tracks.