A child is in a critical condition after being hit by a trailer in Palmerston North this afternoon.

The accident happened when a ute hit the child who was crossing Highbury Ave at around 3:15 this afternoon.

Police said cordons were in place, and road users are asked to avoid the area for a couple of hours while the Serious Crash Unit investigate.

A section of Highbury Ave is now closed and diversions are in place down Lancaster St and Somerset Crescent.