The perils of crossing two major Bay of Plenty highways have prompted calls for improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

A 26-year-old man was hit while trying to cross the Tauranga Eastern Link last week and other drivers have since come forward after seeing more people trying to cross the road.

There is also no way to cross SH36 from The Lakes to Tauranga Crossing by foot or bicycle. Local Facebook pages carry concerns from members of the public.

Commuter Angela Williams said she recently had to slam on her brakes on the Tauranga Eastern Link in exactly the same place that the 26-year-old man was hit.


"There were two boys crossing the road with a surfboard," said the NZME employee.

"Three of four other cars and I just slammed on our brakes.

"I couldn't quite believe that somebody was silly enough to try to cross the road, and with a surfboard."

The 26-year-old man who was hit on February 28 was still in a critical condition in ICU at Waikato Hospital.

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion was aware of two incidents on the stretch of road, one involving the 26-year-old and another in early January which occurred near the Te Maunga roundabout.

Mr Campion said police wanted to remind pedestrians that TEL was an expressway, with four lanes and high volumes of traffic travelling at 100km/h.

The expressway was not designed for pedestrians and it was not safe to cross the road at any time, he said.

"Events like this should make it abundantly clear that any attempts to cross it put lives at risk, not just for the pedestrian but for other motorists as well."


NZTA Bay of Plenty state highways manager Niclas Johansson said when it received findings from the incident from police it would look into the causes and consider if there was anything to be done to improve safety.

"The TEL does have 'No Pedestrian' and 'No Cyclist' signs at every on- and off-ramp to restrict pedestrians and cyclists entering from an adjoining road," he said.

"Some of these accesses also act as a way for people to cross.

"The TEL is a safe, modern and well-engineered road but it is up to people to do their part and abide by all signs to ensure everyone's safety."

Members of the public have urged Tauranga City Council for a pedestrian access across SH36 from The Lakes to Tauranga Crossing.

Tauranga Crossing retail asset manager Graeme Gunthorp said prioritising safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle access across SH36 was important.

"We have inquiries from residents every week regarding this new crossing, most of whom prefer a footbridge to an underpass, and we hope that there will announcement on plans for implementation soon."