26 Nov 2018

Bikes in Schools project gets funding boost

1:22 pm on 26 November 2018

An extra 43,000 children will soon have access to bikes, helmets, riding tracks and safety lessons at school.

A group of kids in Hi-Viz vests with bikes

Children in hi-vis vests with bikes in Auckland. (file photo) Photo: Supplied

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter made the $23m announcement at Titahi Bay School near Wellington today.

It is her first official day back on the job after taking three months maternity leave following the birth of her son.

Transport Agency funding over the next three years will support the roll-out of the Bikes in Schools and cycle skills education programmes to about 120 schools across the country.

Over the three years $6.7m will go towards installing riding tracks within school grounds to allow children to learn and practise riding their bike in a safe area.

Schools projects typically also include a fleet of bikes, helmets and bike storage facilities.

Julie Anne Genter after biking to hospital

Julie Anne Genter cycled to hospital in Auckland to have her baby in August. Photo: Instagram/ Julie Anne Genter

Ms Genter said the funding would be increasingly targeted towards low-decile primary schools as not every child had a bike at home.

She said in the 1980s more than half of all children walked or cycled to school but today it is less than a third.