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Cycling School Bus

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With Walking School Bus programmes proving popular at many schools, Royal Oak Intermediate are taking it a step further - or in this case, a pedal further. They have started a new Cycling School Bus initiative, for staff and students in the Māngere and Māngere Bridge area who want to ride their bikes to school.

Principal Tony Coughlan cycles to work regularly, and wanted to inspire his students to follow suit. With the help of teacher and fellow-rider Lee Tibble, the group meet at 7.50am at the corner of Coronation Road and Kiwi Esplanade (opposite the G.A.S station) for an 8am departure, travelling under the Māngere Bridge. 

The pupils involved all agree that it has been a good way to socialise and stay active, when they would otherwise be travelling by bus or car to school. Briar Kernick enjoys the early morning ride, and says, “It’s getting me fit and it’s fun. It is much better than the noisy bus.”

Mr Coughlan is pleased that the children are gaining the opportunity to show extra leadership. Since the closure of the old bridge, he believes the experience is a great way to get them accustomed to using the alternative route, and an ideal way for the young riders to find the best paths and roads to continue riding with confidence in future.

Mr Coughlan says, “We were aware that some families were concerned about their child’s safety when cycling, and some students were nervous about biking to school. While we ride to school, we talk to them about identifying hazards and keeping safe, as well as things like bike maintenance. All of the students who have cycled with us in the last two weeks hadn’t cycled to school before.”

The group travel together every Tuesday and Thursday, and hope to add more days to the schedule once the number of participants grows. 

Lauchie Francis says, “I feel like I’m doing something good for the environment too, by cycling to school instead of going in a vehicle. ” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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