New Corinella path to help students walk to school
Bass Valley Primary School children will soon be able to walk and ride to school safely with Bass Coast Shire Council receiving a grant to construct a new footpath to the school.
Council has received a $49,791 grant from VicHealth and Victoria Walks to construct a 600 metre, off-road shared path connecting the existing V/Line car park, located just off the Bass Highway, to the Bass Valley Primary School.
Leadbeater Ward Councillor, Clare Le Serve, said as the school is located in an isolated, rural area between a number of small towns, there is limited opportunity for children to walk or ride to school.
“In fact, only one of the 185 students currently walks to school, whilst all the others arrive by car or bus,” Cr Le Serve said.
“There is no infrastructure to support others to walk or ride, so once constructed this new path will enable parents to park at the existing car park so their children can walk the final 600 metres to school.”
Cr Le Serve said Council had partnered with the Primary School to apply for government funding.
“There is a strong demand for this project with 85 per cent of the families surveyed indicating they will use the path to walk or ride to school.”
VicHealth CEO, Jerril Rechter, said the investment was in response to an evaluation of last year’s Walk to School campaign, which found that primary school students who live more than 2km from their school are the least likely to walk.
“On average, students who live within 1km of their school walk to or from school five times a week, while those living between 1-2km walk to or from school between 3-4 times each week. Children who live more than 2km from school walk to or from school no more than once a week, if at all,” Ms Rechter said.
“Around four in five Victorian children don’t get the daily exercise they need for good health. Walk to School is part of VicHealth’s long-term plan to get more Victorians living healthier and happier lives. Encouraging children to walk, ride or scoot to and from school puts them on the path to good health for the rest of their lives.”
The pathway is expected to be completed by the end of March next year and has the support of the Bass Coast Road Safety Committee.
The proposed project is part of a larger project that, once funded, will connect Corinella and Tenby Point with the district through shared pathways.