Most Mosston School pupils find the area too dangerous for them to bike to school and even the few that do have fears for their safety.

A lack of footpaths en route to school - combined with increased traffic as Springvale grows - means either pupils feel unsafe or parents won't allow their children to make their own way to school.

"It's a very busy road, increasingly so, with trucks as they head out towards Castlecliff and as Springvale becomes more developed," principal Michelle Watson said when a contingent from the school presented to Whanganui district councillors on Tuesday.

There is no footpath along much of Mosston Rd where the school sits and the footpath along Springvale Rd ends at Caversham Rd.


"There is no access for children who live on that side of Springvale to come safely to school," Watson said.

She also said large parts of Mosston Rd and Springvale Rd were narrow or had unusable due to long grass verges.

Mosston Rd has a 60km/h speed limit and which drops to 40km/h near the school around drop-off and pick-up time but school staff say many ignore this.

Mosston School pupil Harvey told councillors his parents thought it was too unsafe for him to bike to school.

"But I really do want to bike to school," he said.

A survey by the school found just 5 per cent of its pupils walked or biked to school but 52 per cent would if they could.

Another pupil, Monique, said she had to bike to school most mornings because her mum worked but it was "very scary".

"I remember the first time - and still now when I leave every morning my mum's always so nervous," she said.

"Often there are a lot of children who feel like they have to sprint or run across the road, including my little brother who I go with, and they shouldn't have to do that to ensure they are safe.

"It's very scary, the trucks and the cars come very close to the footpath."

Mosston School sits alongside a busy road with no footpaths.
Mosston School sits alongside a busy road with no footpaths.

Deputy principal Diane Alexander said staff helped pupils cross Mosston Rd after school but there was no official crossing or patrol.

"It's like a game of trying to get them from one side across to the other in between at least 164 cars," she said.

"It is very nerve-racking for an adult and just as nerve-racking for the children."

Meanwhile, Board of Trustees member and school parent Kylie Harris said it was vital pupils were able to bike to school if they wanted.

"I'm passionate about kids being active and think all New Zealand children should have the opportunity to bike to school and feel safe doing so," she told councillors.

"It's just really important to their well-being, especially when we've got lots more technology around and kids are opting for technology

"Biking to school is a really good way to instil active children in our society."

Harris said this would happen if access to the school was safer given that most school families lived in "easy walking/biking distance".

"If they were to feel safe, a lot of them would choose to bike or walk.

"If we had safe footpaths to the Mosston we would have a lot more active children and safe children, a restful hearts for parents."

The stretch of road by the school has long been a concern with former Whanganui mayor Michael Laws calling it a "tragedy waiting to happen" back in 2008.

Mosston School started the year with 137s pupil and will end with about 160.

The councillors referred the issue to its next infrastructure committee meeting.