Road safety education, bike skills and confidence workshops, and awareness of the importance of slowing down in residential streets will form the basis of a safe and active school routes program in the Figtree area.
Healthy Cities Illawarra has won a $20,000 grant from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)'s Road World Championships Legacy program for the project.
"Only a very small proportion of children walk or cycle to school, even though they live only one or two kilometres away, and we know that parents are concerned about safety because there are not enough footpaths, crossings, cars travel at speed and there is a lot of congestion," Healthy Cities Illawarra chief executive officer Kelly Andrews said.
Healthy Cities Illawarra has partnered with Safe Streets to School and 30please.org to develop the new program.
They will also work specifically with Mount Thomas Public School, Figtree Heights Public School and Lindsay Park Public School.
"Our objectives are to increase physical activity levels which help support learning, physical and mental health as well as community connections and safer streets for everyone to enjoy," Ms Andrews said.
Next September will see the UCI Road World Championships arrive in Wollongong.
Ms Andrews said the event's legacy must "be one where cycling and walking around our neighbourhood streets is safe and preferable to the car."
Healthy Cities Illawarra has engaged with the community, with 370 people having completed a survey earlier this year on usual transport modes to school, safety concerns and physical activity levels.
On Friday, September 24 there will also be a virtual town hall meeting where community members can hear from parents and P&Cs, learn the results of the community survey, and engage in an interactive question and answer session.
The event will run from 3pm to 5pm, and residents of Figtree and Mount St Thomas can register online here.
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