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Christchurch City Council Media Release 2 September 2002


New Walking School Bus network at Thorrington School

A new Walking School Bus network has been launched to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable journey for children to and from Thorrington School.

Under the Walking School Bus initiative, parents work a roster system, taking turns to pick up children from their homes and walk them to and from school each day. Six other Christchurch schools already have walking school buses, including Thorrington’s neighbouring Beckenham School.

The Thorrington Walking School Bus network comprises 6 routes, each of which has a parent responsible for coordinating the roster of “driver” parents. The Landsdowne Terrace route is already operating, and the Hollis Avenue route commenced today. Other routes yet to start are Bowenvale Avenue, Fisher Avenue, Malcolm Avenue, and Waimea Terrace.

Alice Shanks, parent of several children at Beckenham School, says that prior to setting up their Walking School Bus her children complained about having to walk to school. Their complaints disappeared as soon as the walking school bus started, because the formerly driven children joined in walking with the bus. Allice’s children now walk to school safely without supervision, having learnt good road safety practices while they were passengers on the Walking School Bus.

Joy Kingsbury-Aitken, Christchurch City Council’s Schools Co-ordinator, said that the Walking School Bus provides many benefits for both children and parents.

“It is healthy, safe and provides an exercise opportunity for parents and their children. It also saves parents time because they work a roster system.

When it’s raining the children either continue walking and use their walking school bus umbrellas, or their parents organize a car pool,” says Kingsbury-Aitken.

The Walking School Bus initiative is supported by Christchurch City Council, Crown Public Health, the Hillary Commission and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

For more information: Contact - Joy Kingsbury-Aitken, Schools Co-ordinator, City Streets Unit, ph 941 8299, Rachel Teulon, parent, co-ordinator for the Landsdowne Terrace route, ph 981 5031, Jo Houghton, parent, co-ordinator of the Hollis Avenue route, ph 332 3324.

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