Kids push for bike paths

STUDENTS, parents and staff at Burringbar Public School jumped on their bikes, scooters and rip-sticks yesterday morning to take part in National Ride2School Day.

The day aims to reduce childhood obesity by increasing students' physical activity and changing their attitudes to active travel, but parents and community members want the day to highlight the village's lack of footpaths.

President of Gumnuts Community Preschool Kylie McLeod is just one of the concerned parents who have written to Tweed Shire Council requesting a one-km roadside footpath, connecting the pre-school and primary school.

“A lot of community members, including individual parents, the P&C, school and pre-school, have written to the council in the past year and a half about having a footpath,” the mother of four said.

“But we received letters back saying we've missed the next few budget and the kids should use the bus.

“Ride2School day is to combat childhood obesity but the council wants kids to take the bus.”

Mrs McLeod, who lives near the pre-school, finds it ridiculous she has to pay for her children to catch the bus when they could ride their bikes if the provisions were in place.

As pre-school president she and other teachers also struggle to walk about 20 pre-schoolers to the school for events.

“There is only one tiny section of footpath which goes for about 150m.”

Mrs McLeod has also approached council as the mother of two vision-impaired children.

“My son has day blindness and can still ride a bike but doesn't have depth perception,” she said.

“It's extremely hard for him to ride a bike on the uneven gravel and grass.”

Students had to carry their skateboards yesterday due to the lack of footpath.

Relieving principal John Graham said Ride2School day aims to improve the health of students.

“The percentage of obese and overweight children has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, as many children have developed less active lifestyles,” he said.

“This was a different, more active alternative to the way many of our students and staff usually arrive at school.”

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