Active Travel

Walking, cycling and scooting to school are great ways to build regular physical activity into young people's lives.  Research shows that those who travel to school actively take these positive behaviours into adulthood.

Did you know that today, more than half of New Zealand primary school children are driven to and from school - that’s nearly double the number from 10 years ago!  If you’ve noticed that more of your students are being dropped off by car at the school gate, and this is of concern then our WAVE School Travel Plan Coordinator can work with your school to develop a school travel plan.  Children learn, grow and have fun when they get active on the way to school.


What WAVE can do

  • Support settings to develop their STP and coordinate the STP process.
  • Provide travel surveys for schools to gather information about travel behaviour and public health analysts to analyse the results.
  • Work with the Timaru District Council to provide mapping of walking distances, Park and Stride Zones for your school. Click on the link to see example of a Walking Distance Map:  Gleniti Walking Distances Map
  • Collaborative approach to find what will work best for your school and community.


What is a School Travel Plan (STP)?

It is a tool for identifying and managing the local issues generated by car travel to schools.  The aim of a STP is to:

  • Reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety near the school
  • Coordinate actions designed to overcome real and perceived barriers to active travel
  • Increase the number of children using active travel modes to and from school
  • Improve health outcomes
  • Save money for individuals
  • Reduce environmental impacts

A STP encourages people to look at their car use and choose healthier, cheaper alternatives when available.  

Who develops the STP?

  • A working group with relevant stakeholders including the WAVE STP Coordinator, representatives of the school community, NZ Police and Timaru District Council personnel.
  • A travel plan will vary from school to school.
  • It is important to note that a travel plan is an active process which will change over time and needs flexibility to be successful.

Sacred Heart WSB 

Principal Dave Armstrong is seen here leading Sacred Heart's Walking School Bus.  Teacher, Pip Oliver said "children who are physically active in the morning, learn better during the day".


St Joseph's School Travel Plan

St Joseph's School is a Catholic Primary School who commenced working on a School Travel Plan in 2012 and continues to be proactive in promoting active and sustainable transport methods.

Case Study:  Take a look at St Joseph's School Timaru's Case Study about their School Travel Plan journey:   St Joseph's School Travel Plan


Let's Get Going Programme

The Let’s Get Going programme has been developed for kindergartens, preschools, playcentres and early primary school years, interested in up-skilling children aged 3-5 years in cyclist skills.  It gives young children the opportunity to learn, develop and practise fundamental skills of cycling in order to gain the skills, information and motivation to progress towards riding a bike independently.

This in turn increases the likelihood of retained cycling with the goal of developing a lifelong enjoyment of cycling among children and their families/whānau.

The programme has been developed by early childhood teachers and cyclist skills trainers to recognise the skills set and developmental needs required by children.

If you are interested in undertaking the Let’s Get Going programme, contact your WAVE Facilitator.

Case Study:  Craighead Kindergarten took part in the Let's Get Going programme and here is a Case Study story:  Craighead Kindergarten Let's Get Going



Links: - Teacher and School Resources - Active Travel Toolkit