About the project

A Safe Routes to School program enables our children and young people to walk, scoot and ride a bike to school and makes our communities safer, healthier places for everyone.

A national framework combining low cost, high impact interventions with training, mapping and engagement to increase active travel to school, establish healthy lifestyles, improve safety around schools and reduce physical inactivity-related chronic disease.


July 2018 Update:

A national Safe Routes to School trial funding application was lodged on 28 June with our project partners, the Sunshine Coast Council, ESRI Australia and the University of Canberra's Health Research Institute. Lodged under the federal governments Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, the ‘RideScore Sunshine Coast Trial’ will utilise smart tech to build on work done by the Council to engage children and respond to key concerns experienced by parents around independent travel to school. 

The trial will establish a scalable national model for a Safe Routes to School Scheme that can be rolled out through Councils across the country and boost walking and cycling to school.

Built around Bluetooth smart technologies, an online engagement platform, planning by the University of Canberra’s Health Research Institute, interactive mapping from global geospatial experts ESRI and engagement workshops with school communities we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received. 

Our federal funding application was accompanied by letters of support from: 

  • the Heart Foundation
  • Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia)
  • The Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace MP
  • ESRI Australia
  • the Queensland Police Service
  • Regional Development Australia – Sunshine Coast
  • Buddina State School, and
  • Caloundra State Primary School.

The trial is expected to be conducted from early 2019 until late June 2020. We Ride Australia has committed to co-fund the trial with the Sunshine Coast Council, Stocklands and corporate partners. 

All donations we receive will go to our contribution to the $500,000 trial.



Overview:

National Safe Routes to School policy establishing:

  1. infrastructure co-funding framework and incentives, 
  2. planning framework linking communities with state and federal government funding,
  3. education and promotional resources, case studies and guides, and
  4. national targets for reductions in physical inactivity. 

Why? We have stopped moving!

  • Levels of physical activity in Australia have declined dramatically in the last 30 years.
  • Physical inactivity is a major risk factor in its own right for chronic (non-communicable) diseases in the population. It is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, dementia, mental illness, and other chronic diseases.
  • Rates of childhood obesity and conditions such as type 2 diabetes are increasing in Australia and at the same time, children and young people are becoming less active.
  • Physical activity ‘habits’ formed as children form the building blocks for future health throughout adolescence and adulthood.

How?

  1. National policy leadership incl. targets, tobacco control, vaccination and transport safety (speed, seat belt) programs already justify national leadership on key public health agendas
  2. A framework to allow investment and engagement by corporates, philanthropic organisations, federal, state and local governments.
  3. A framework to incentivise engagement by, and rewards for, school communities already under significant pressure to achieve national curriculum outcomes.
  4. A framework to align national, state and local technical expertise in support of program objectives.

Key Elements

  • Use of re-prioritised existing infrastructure funding
  • Bicycle education training & recognition system in schools
  • National online engagement and rewards platform
  • Community, education and promotional resources
  • Research and evaluation
  • National group charged with implementation of COAG, CWANZ, virtual knowledge hub or other.

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