Students at Virginia Primary School are walking into a healthier lifestyle, thanks to improved infrastructure installed by the City of Playford. ^^ Virginia Primary School students Anthony, Reece and Ashleigh make use of the upgraded Park Road crossing. Photo: Rob McLean The upgraded Emu crossing and footpath improvements on Park Road occurred after a survey found that only one per cent of the school’s students walked or rode their bikes or scooters to school.
The upgrades are expected to encourage more students to walk, ride or scoot because they can make their way to and from home more safely, with footpaths linking the school to the Virginia Grove housing estate.
School principal Ilia Tsoutouras said there had been an initially small increase in students making their daily commute under their own steam, but expects the numbers to grow.
“What it does now is give students a chance to think about doing that (walking) because…now there’s a footpath all the way to Park Road, which is really helpful,” Mr Tsoutouras said.
“There are health benefits to having kids walk to school and we hope to really see an increase in the warmer months.”
City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the footpaths, which sees students now able to walk to the southern section of the township without using the busy Old Port Wakefield Road, will be a great asset.
“We know that walking to school can provide health benefits for our young people by increasing their daily exercise levels and now Virginia students can do so without having to walk alongside the busiest road in town,” Mayor Docherty said.
The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure contributed a quarter of the cost of the $80,000 project, as part of the Way to Go program.
The work also saw improvements to garden beds.
Council has also recently upgraded a community car park, which is used by Virginia Primary School parents for student pick-ups and drop-offs.
Meanwhile, the existing Emu crossing outside of Angle Vale Primary School at Fradd Road, is being upgraded to a Koala Crossing featuring flashing lights.
“This will increase safety for children walking to school from the Angle Vale residential areas,” Mayor Docherty said.