Active travel is one of the easiest and most time efficient ways to ensure children receive the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Whether it involves walking, riding a bike, scooter or skateboard, catching public transport, or even a combination of each, active travel is a fun, safe and healthy way to travel to and from school.
Transport Canberra and City Services' Schools Program works with a number of stakeholders to deliver active travel support to schools. This includes active travel initiatives and coordination of infrastructure projects.
The Schools Program helps to make active travel a safer, more accessible and easier form of transport for children and parents around schools.
The Active Streets for Schools program is an extension of the Ride or Walk to School program to make the environment around schools safer to ride, walk, scooter or skate to and from school.
Riding, walking, scooting or skating are simple ways to incorporate physical activity into everyday lives and daily journeys. Physically active children are healthier, happier and more socially connected than children who have more sedentary lifestyles.
Active Streets makes it easier and safer for children to ride or walk to school. Not only will this get kids active, it will give parents peace of mind that the route to school is safe and easy to follow. It is also a fun way to get to and from school and helps alleviate some of the traffic congestion created by parents dropping kids off at the school gate.
The Active Streets program has an educational campaign (see resources below, including a map for each school) that is complemented by infrastructure improvements focused on routes to schools.
Active Streets 2018-22
The Active Streets program has been expanded to include an additional 52 primary schools during 2018-22. The schools were selected following an Expression of Interest (EOI) process, which invited all primary schools that hadn’t previously received Active Streets support to indicate their interest in the program. All 52 schools that highlighted their interest in the program have been included in the expanded program:
Gilmore Primary School
Narrabundah Early Childhood
St Monica's Primary
Neville Bonner Primary
St Thomas Aquinas Primary
Brindabella Christian College (Charnwood)
Gold Creek School
St Thomas More’s Primary
Burgmann Anglican School
North Ainslie Primary
St Thomas the Apostle Primary
Campbell Primary School
Gowrie Primary School
Red Hill Primary
Sts Peter & Paul Primary
Canberra Christian School
Southern Cross Early Childhood
Canberra Girls Grammar
Holy Family Primary
St Anthony’s Primary
St Benedict’s Primary
Canberra Montessori School
St Clare of Assisi Primary
Trinity Christian School
Charles Conder Primary
St Edmund’s College
Covenant Christian School
Miles Franklin Primary
St John the Apostle School
Wanniassa Hills Primary
Duffy Primary School
St Joseph’s Primary
St Michael's Primary
Active Streets stencil
One of the infrastructure improvements delivered through the program is stencils along popular walking and riding paths around schools.
The stencils are used in conjunction with the school maps to promote routes to schools with minimal road crossings.
The stencils also help to promote school environments to the broader community to ensure people drive and ride safely around schools.
An information sheet to promote the stencil locations is available for the following schools:
Dragon's teeth, 30km/h school speed zone environments, part way points, children's crossings, stencilling along popular paths and footpath improvements were some of the infrastructure measures tested around schools during the pilot.
Following the successful pilot, the Active Streets program was expanded to include 25 schools throughout 2016-18. Some of the successful elements from the pilot were delivered at the additional schools to make it easier and safer for children to walk or ride to school.
Newsletters and social media are effective platforms to encourage safe and healthy behaviours. The newsletter articles and social media posts below can be tailored to suit each school’s needs. A suite of fun cartoon images are also available. The images can be used in conjunction with the articles and posts or separately to encourage behaviour change within school communities.
Fun activities are a good way to educate children about different forms of active travel (walking, riding or using public transport) and the associated health benefits. The resources can easily be printed and used in the classroom as a fun activity or at home.
Transport Canberra (TC) provides many options to travel around town, which includes walking and cycling, catching a bus or light rail, or a combination of each. TC town (PDF 6MB) is an activity book with fold out cardboard models to teach children some of the safe, healthy and fun travel options in Canberra.
If you would like to receive printed copies of TC Town to educate children about transport and the supporting initiatives available in Canberra, contact TCCS.
Wayfinding stencils have been installed along footpaths leading to a number of primary schools as part of the Active Streets program, to help children navigate their way to school safely. An information sheet to promote the stencil locations is available for the following schools:
The TCCS Schools Program was developed to provide active travel and traffic management support to schools. If you would like to arrange an onsite visit to discuss active travel, traffic management or road safety concerns, or would like to know more about the programs and support available, contact the TCCS Schools Program.
It’s Your Move Safe Cycle (IYMSC) builds on the primary school Ride or Walk to School program and focuses on increasing student confidence to ride and create environments to encourage students to actively travel to school.
IYMSC provides teachers with access to Australian curriculum aligned resources for students in years 7 and 8 and teacher training to implement a safe cycle program.
lesson plans to educate students in safe cycling techniques and bike maintenance
online game-based theory for students to consolidate their knowledge
IYMSC for high schools is part of a broader ACT Health initiative It’s Your Move (IYM) which is delivered in partnership with the Education Directorate and provides high school students with an opportunity to develop creative solutions that improve school health.
Part way drop off and collection points provide alternative locations for parents who need to drive their children to school. Part way points have a number of benefits, including:
reducing congestion at the school entrance
increasing safety with less cars on the road at the school
developing a child’s independence
encouraging healthy and active habits
creating a hive of activity of children on the paths around schools (which helps to lower speeds and reduces the perceived risk of stranger danger).
There are a number of part way points that provide safe and easy access to most schools. Look at a map with your child to identify a suitable part way point, which might include a road on the opposite side of the school oval, a nearby park or a wide street next to a shared path. Any distance up to one kilometre is suitable and easy for most children to walk or ride.
It is a good idea to walk or ride the route a number of times with your child prior to leaving them to travel independently to ensure they are familiar with the route. And remember, PART WAY is OK!
Public transport is an easy, safe and convenient mode of transport for school children in the ACT. Travelling by public transport not only helps to alleviate congestion around schools, it is also an excellent way for students to incorporate some incidental exercise into their day.
The ACT Government’s Ride or Walk to School (RWTS) program complements other government initiatives to support children to walk or ride to school.
RWTS provides ACT schools with access to Australian curriculum aligned resources to teach safe cycling, teacher training and parental engagement materials to help the whole school community embrace riding and walking to school.
The following curriculum resources will assist teachers to implement Safe Cycle in the classroom:
A School Crossing Supervisor program commenced in the ACT in 2018. The program commenced at 20 crossings in 2018, with another five crossings included from the beginning of the 2019 school year.
School crossing supervisors (lollipop people) assist children to cross roads safely by directing traffic with a stop sign and providing instructions. They also help to manage the flow of pedestrians and motorists at the busiest crossings.
The program has two primary objectives:
to increase safety for children around ACT schools
to lessen parent concerns about safety, which will create school environments that are more conducive for active travel and help to create healthier and safer school communities.
The program focuses on crossings used by infant, primary school or special needs children.
HOBAN Recruitment has been engaged to recruit and manage the supervisors on behalf of the Territory. HOBAN has extensive experience delivering crossing supervisors for a number of councils in Victoria.
To register your interest in becoming a crossing supervisor, or to seek further information about the positions, contact HOBAN Recruitment.
Selection committee and process
A selection committee was formed to agree on a set of selection criteria and to select the priority sites for the pilot. The selection committee included representatives from:
Transport Canberra and City Services (including Roads ACT in an advisory capacity)
Education Directorate (including school principals)
Justice and Community Safety Directorate
ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations
Association of Independent Schools of the ACT
Catholic Education Office
Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools
Transport Canberra and City Services provided advice to the selection committee about how similar programs are delivered in other jurisdictions and the selection process used to prioritise sites.
Pedestrian and traffic volumes were collected at all crossings located adjacent to eligible schools. This data was also provided to the selection committee to consider.
The selection committee used this information in conjunction with the selection criteria below to agree on the crossings with the greatest need for a supervisor.
To be considered an eligible site for a crossing supervisor in the ACT, the crossing must:
be located on the road network adjacent to a school
be used by early childhood, primary school or special needs children
be located within a 40km/h or 30km/h school zone.
A crossing that meets these criteria was then assessed based on:
Pedestrian and traffic volumes:
Minimum 300 vehicles per hour during the peak school periods
Pedestrian volumes x traffic volumes / 100
Previous incidents or near misses at a crossing
The number of primary school aged children likely to use a crossing
Challenging environments (e.g. the proximity of shopping centres, busy roads, hospitals etc.)
Proximity of other schools:
The potential for more than one school to benefit from a supervisor at a particular location
Potential to increase active travel:
The number of primary school age students at a school
A school’s geographic location in the ACT (to ensure there is a reasonable spread of supervisors across the Territory so children from all regions can benefit from the program)
Ride or Walk to School program participation:
Whether a school is participating in the program (given active travel is likely to be higher)
School Crossing Supervisor schools
Based on the selection criteria above, the selection committee has prioritised the schools/crossings below to receive a supervisor as part of the program.
Katherine Ave (Pioneer St & Mornington St)
Brindabella Christian College
Brigalow St (Boyd St & Longstaff St)
Canberra Grammar School (2019)
Monaro Cres (Flinders Way & Golden Grove)
Canberra Girls Grammar School
Grey St (Robe St & Empire Cct)
Chapman Primary School
Streeton Dr (Darwinia Terrace & Fremantle Dr)
Duffy Primary (2019)
Burrinjuck Cres (Jindabyne St & Somerset St)
Florey Primary School
Ratcliffe Crescent (Krefft St & Kesteven St)
Forrest Primary School
National Cct (Hobart Ave & Franklin St)
Garran Primary School
Gilmore Cres (Palmer St and Esson Pl)
Gold Creek School & Holy Spirit Primary School
Kelleway Ave (Oldershaw Ct & Whatmore Ct)
Good Shepherd Primary (2019)
Burdekin Ave (Yule St & Leven St)
Wimmera St (Varne St & Topra St)
Hughes Primary School
Groom St (Whittle St & Wark St)
Lyneham Primary School
Brigalow St (Hall St & Longstaff St)
Majura Primary School
Knox St (Windeyer St & Harvey St)
Mother Teresa School
Mapleton Ave (Otway St & Wimmera St)
O'Halloran Cct (Jenke Cct & Jenke Cct)
Ngunnawal Primary School
Wanganeen Ave (Yumba Ave & Guginya Cres)
Red Hill Primary School
La Perouse St (Fortitude St & Dalrymple St)
St Clare of Assisi Primary
Box Hill Ave (Heidelberg St & Handasyde St)
St Francis of Assisi Primary (2019)
Casey Cres (Were St & Loader Cres)
Sts Peter & Paul & Malkara School
Wisdom St (Webster St & Boake Pl)
Torrens Primary (2019)
Beasley St (Gouger St & Torrens Pl)
Trinity Christian School
McBride Cr (Bromley St & Mackinnon St)
David St (Hay St & Sargood St)
The School Crossing Supervisor program will help children and parents feel safe around schools, however it is not the only solution. Motorists and pedestrians still need to display appropriate behaviours in school zones to ensure the community remains safe.
Safer school environments will help to encourage a greater uptake of active travel by children, which will help to create a healthy community.