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Collaborative approach to make roads safer for Hastings children

irongate school 1

Student safety on the roads around four Hastings primary schools is set to be improved through an upcoming pilot programme trialling a range of measures to deal with traffic speed and volume.

Irongate, Kimi Ora, Hastings Central and Mayfair Schools have been selected for the trial, which will be undertaken by Hastings District Council, supported by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets fund.

Council will be working collaboratively with them to identify a number of trial solutions to make the areas surrounding the schools safer, and make it easier for students to get to school by walking, cycling or scootering.

Hastings councillor and council’s Active Transport Group chair Damon Harvey says the tactical urbanisation approach enables options to be trialled so the best solutions can be found.

 “We see this project as integral to our overall Active Transport and Safety strategies – piloting ways to create a safer, more people-focussed network around our schools. This in turn should have a positive effect on parental decision-making around students walking, cycling or scootering to get to and from school, rather than being driven.”

Engagement has already begun with the schools to get their input right from the start of the design process.

Feedback to date has included concerns about speeding and anti-social driving behaviour, and visibility problems around pedestrian crossings. Once the trial measures are in place the community will be able to provide further feedback on their effectiveness.

Irongate School principal Maurice Rehu says he is keen to see improved safety and community access on the streets around the school.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Hastings District Council and the local community to trial measures that make our local streets safer and more people-friendly.

“The hope is that we can improve the opportunities for whānau and tamariki to enjoy their school neighbourhood, to feel safe walking, biking and scootering.

“This in turn will improve hauora (health and well-being), and enable greater connection with, and greater access to learning and the local environment.”

Waka Kotahi urban mobility programme manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements that create more people-friendly spaces in neighbourhoods.

“By using a “tactical urbanism” approach to test what works for communities we can create safe places that make space for and support people enjoy their neighbourhoods.”

Photo: Irongate School is one of four Hastings schools taking part in the trial programme.

22 November 2022

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