Sixth bike track opens as future funding is considered

Makaiah Jennings tries out the new bike track.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ

Makaiah Jennings tries out the new bike track.

Kids are riding rings around their teachers at Cloverlea School thanks to a new bike track. 

The new track is the last of six school tracks to have gained funding from Palmerston North City Council for Bikes in Schools.

Principal Leiana Lambert was thrilled the track could be opened officially on Tuesday. Community support and donations meant they also had 50 bikes and 300 helmets. 

"The students just absolutely love it. They are a lot more determined to do tricks than we thought they would be. They can't wait to get to school to get on the track." 

Half of the asphalt loop extends into Cloverlea Park next to the school playground, and  the council's permission for it to be built partly on public ground meant a good-sized track was possible, Lambert said. 

As well as lunchtime fun, the school uses the track for physical education and road safety lessons. Cloverlea Kindergarten was also visiting the track once a week, and outside school hours it was open to the community, and was already attracting lots of visitors in the weekends, Lambert said. 

Gian De Negri​,10, said the track was "fun and exciting to use, almost every day we can come out and go round. I always go fast". 

City councillor Brent Barrett said other schools had approached the council about help funding tracks at their schools, and the programme's future will be considered in annual budget deliberations this week. 

"We know that ... getting around by bike improves health, happiness and productivity – so it's great seeing Cloverlea School taking this step," he said. 

The Cloverlea project cost $84,000, including funding from the council, Manawatu Transport, and Eastern and Central Community Trust. 

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Tracks have also been funded for Ross Intermediate, Takaro, Longburn, St Mary's and Terrace End schools. 

 - Stuff

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