Rolling to school, by bus.

22 Feb 24 | By pp-admin | News Wheel

Kate Bradney, founder of Walk Cycle Lyneham, has been advocating and celebrating safe and sustainable active travel in her community for years. Sadly, she has found this work exhausting and disheartening.

When the idea of a school bike bus came along, Kate saw it as an opportunity to celebrate and maintain the active travel culture that already exists in Lyneham.

Under the mentorship of Canberra by Bike’s Paris Lord, Kate and  a few Lyneaham parents (Sari, Andri and Penny) run the pilot school bike bus from North Lyneham on Wednesday 13 December 2023.

It was a great success!

“It’s just so much fun,” says Kate. “We have music, kids on bikes with grins from ear to ear. It a real celebration of bike riding in our community.

This year, however, they were reluctant to start the bike bus again as the Supreme Court has made the decision to temporarily re-open the dangerous Brindabella Christian College car park. They eventually started the bike bus again from week three, but it is not as relaxed as it could be due to some dangerous infrastructure.

The team has identified some simple infrastructure changes that would considerably improve cycling and walking safety in the area:

  • A pedestrian crossing on Cossington-Smith.
  • An upgrade of the Archibald Crossing. Our bike bus kids just end up spilling into the road trying to navigate this crossing.
  • Reduced speed limits to 30km/hr on the residential streets, especially around the schools.
  • A short path extension near the Lyneham oval Car Park, so we can avoid some of the footpath congestion on the narrow path. We’ve been calling this the “safety shortcut” and have been asking ACT Gov for a couple of years but haven’t had any luck.
  • improvements to Longstaff and Lewin intersection, so families can safely walk or ride between our preschool and school campus. Some ideas that residents have already suggested to ACT Gov include “no right turn” during school drop off and pick up times.
  • Another pedestrian crossing on Brigalow St so families can travel safely between the Preschool and the School and avoid the most dangerous areas (of the car park and Longrstaff St) all together.

The bike bus is a joint initiative of Walk Cycle Lyneham & Beyond and Canberra by Bike, with support from the Lyneham Primary School P&C and Pedal Power ACT.

The bus departs from Hide and Seek Café in Nth Lyneham at 8:15am every Wednesday and stops at all three junior schools in Lyneham: Lyneham Primary School – Preschool Unit, Brindabella Christian College, and Lyneham Primary Public School.

“We welcome everyone to come and join us on the Lyneham primary bike bus, and I reckon it can be replicated on other parts of Canberra. It’s certainly proof that children will ride or roll if they feel safe. More will, once residential streets are calmed to 30km/h, as recommended by the World Health Organization”, says Paris.

Read the full story on our March issue of the digital Canberra Cyclist magazine, out soon and available to all Pedal Power members.