Brisbane celebrates 15 years of active school travel

Brisbane City Council is today kicking off the 2019 Active School Travel program, which has encouraged more than 100,000 primary school students to actively travel since 2004.

Public and Active Transport Chairman Cr Adrian Schrinner said 24,500 students would put their feet to the pavement in 2019, helping to tackle congestion and boost safety around 46 Brisbane schools.

“The Active School Travel program has had enormous success over the past 15 years, with 157 schools joining Council’s efforts to encourage active and healthy habits,” Cr Schrinner said.

“As the Active School Travel Program continues to grow, we are seeing more people swapping the car in favour of walking, scootering, cycling or catching public transport with a 21 per cent reduction in car trips last year.

“Walking has the most popular form of active transport, with a 16 per cent increase in kids pulling on their kicks every morning to travel to school.

“While the Queensland average for students actively travelling is 25 per cent, Council’s three-year Active School Travel Program has helped nearly two-thirds of some Brisbane school communities ditch the car.

“Not only does the program have a positive impact on safety and congestion around schools, but we also know that students are more attentive in the classroom when they are more active and healthy outside.”

Cr Schrinner said Council initially launched the Active School Travel Program in 2004 as a one-year trial, focussing on road safety.

“Since the Active School Travel Program began 15 years ago, it has evolved into a three-year program that looks at innovative ways to change school travel habits that can often become embedded into school culture,” he said.

“The program has been recognised globally for its success, with every participating school provided customised active travel maps, free bike and scooter skills training, weekly active travel days as well as student ‘passports’ and travel rewards.”

The Active School Travel Program is designed to educate and motivate students, parents and teachers to leave the car at home and actively travel, reducing traffic in and around school areas.