19 July 2018
With the support of Whanganui District Council, two schools in Tawhero have received funding to establish a shared bike track.
Tawhero and St Marcellin schools have received $7500 each from the Bike on New Zealand Trust to help to build the track, as part of the trust’s Bikes in Schools project which aims to get as many New Zealand children as possible on bikes on a regular basis.
The Council’s Active Transport Facilitator Norman Gruebsch is delighted the Council could support the application process.
“It’s the first joint project of this kind in Whanganui. We see it as a brilliant effort to increase active transport for Tawhero and neighbouring suburbs.
“It is of particular interest to us, as it will link with the proposed subdivision development in Springvale and will be in close proximity to the planned shared pathway along London Street.”
Mr Gruebsch visited Tawhero School to check on progress just before the school holidays began. Its track will eventually form part of a combined 500m track for student and community use, linking with St Marcellin School. It will also provide an opportunity for students to test their new-found cycling skills.
Tawhero School principal Chris Dibben says the Tawhero track will be named the Gollan Bike Track after former school dental nurse Dora Gollan and her husband Bruce.
“Their generous support has helped us to have a bike track at Tawhero School for our pupils, whanau and community to use.”
Another key part of the development is investment in a fleet of bikes for Tawhero School, he says.
Together with regular skill sessions provided by the Let’s Go team, this will see every students gain cycling ability, as well as the self-esteem, confidence and freedom that comes with cycling. Stage two of Tawhero School’s project is a bike skills area.
Let’s Go is a Council-led programme to promote walking, cycling and scootering as safe travel choices with education sessions held throughout Whanganui schools.
Bikes in Schools was set up because of a dramatic decrease in biking by New Zealand primary school-aged children over the past 20 years. This has resulted in many children not being able to experience “the joy of biking” and the many social and health impacts that result from biking regularly.
Mr Dibben says the track is being developed with the generous support of community, government and business organisations as well as support from the Gollans and Bikes in Schools.
Caption: Tawhero School students Rhymes Pumipi, Ngaamo Hadfeild, Te Aio Heremia and Tori Maraku give the thumbs up to the new bike track.