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Roading improvements add to student safety

GILL ALCOCK
Last updated 08:35 04/07/2012

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A new plan to get kids to school safely will be officially launched by mayor Len Brown at Te Huruhi School next month.

Mr Brown will attend a special assembly in the school's hall on August 3 to unveil the new TravelWise programme for both Te Huruhi and Waiheke High schools.

The TravelWise programme follows discussions with representatives from both schools, school boards of trustees, the Waiheke Local Board and the TravelWise parent group. The discussions also led to a raft of upgrades that are now being actioned.

Principal Ian Travers says the school is grateful for the ongoing upgrading of the roads and footpaths, particularly on Donald Bruce Rd.

An additional length of footpath has been completed outside Te Huruhi School, designed to allow parents to get out of their cars on to the footpath and not into the street and oncoming vehicles. The increase in parking also allows parents to access the school crossing, which avoids having to cross the road through parked vehicles where there is limited visibility.

Mr Travers says the Surfdale shopping area is still an area of concern.

"We wish to acknowledge Auckland Council and our local board for the gradual improvements, most recently the application of red rumble strips leading into the village to alert you to the crossing at the midway point of the shopping area."

He says he and local board members have been looking at the crossing, from the bus stop in the centre of the shopping area, and are trying "to make that a little clearer" for both students trying to cross the road and passing vehicles.

There are also plans for easier and safer access into Donald Bruce Rd at the roundabout.

Mr Travers says given the position of the roundabout the changes planned are as good as they can be.

"Short of ripping up the whole roundabout that's the best they could do."

Among the changes is a new footpath which will take students from Wilma Rd along to Jellicoe Pde from where there will be a crossing accessible to walkers, cyclists and parents with pushchairs.

Mr Travers would also like to see the 40kmh warning sign that is currently just inside Donald Bruce Rd moved onto the main road to slow down traffic around the roundabout. He is also voicing concerns about the safety of students who cycle and walk to school using the Esplanade once it is reopened to shared use.

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