Kids get active on World Car-Free Day

Local News People

More than 4,000 students around New Plymouth District will be grabbing their scooters, bikes or getting their walking shoes on for World Car-Free Day!

Twelve primary schools are promoting walking, biking, scootering, busing or ride-sharing for Tuesday 22 September, and for those who a car journey is a necessary part of their trip, they can park a few blocks away, and ‘park and walk’ instead.

“It’s fantastic to see so many schools encouraging parents, whānau and students to talk about fun and active ways to get to and from school,” says NPDC’s Let’s Go’s Kym Smith.

“This is what World Car-Free Day is about: resetting our thinking about better ways to travel – ways that benefit our environment, our community and our own health.”

2020 is the 20th anniversary of World Car-Free Day, which has its origins in Europe.

Workers are also encouraged to take part in the day by leaving the car behind for their commute. As a bonus, Taranaki Regional Council has its urban buses running for free all day.

“It’s a great time of year to rethink our travel habits. Spring is here, the days are warming up and getting longer, and we’ve got summer ahead of us.

“Try just one day of active travel and see how much better you feel,” says Kym.

NPDC is encouraging its staff to also take part, with one manager committed to cycling in to work from his home in Urenui. Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright says this time of year is when he gets back into routine cycling.

“It’s about 40km from my place to work, and I take back-roads and the Coastal Walkway.

“I like to use the time to just chill out, enjoy the scenery and fresh air – it’s a great way to start the day fresh and alive, or equally a great time to relax, unwind from a busy day and reset the mind,” he says.

And if you enjoy World Car-Free Day, get your colleagues on board for Let’s Go’s Fresh Air Challenge throughout October. The more kilometres of active travel that your organisation racks up during the month, the more chances you have to win a prize – including an e-bike! Registration and more details are here