Eltham residents say speeding vehicles, combined with pedestrian inattention, is an accident waiting to happen on the town's main road.

South Taranaki District councillor Mark Bellringer is calling for people to support and join him at a demonstration in Eltham to raise awareness of the issue and to demand action.

This Friday Mark and other concerned Eltham residents will be standing beside the road holding signs and placards pleading for drivers and pedestrians to be more cautious when approaching or using the main road's pedestrian crossing.

"I've lived here for 13 years and it is still a big issue. Something needs to be done."


He says he is concerned for pedestrian safety.

"I've had a near miss myself while crossing the pedestrian crossing and I'm sure every second person in Eltham has had a similar experience."

Mark says both drivers and pedestrians need to be educated.

"Everyone needs to be aware of the crossing. There are two sides, the driver needs to go more slow but equally, pedestrians need to watch and not walk out in front of vehicles."

Participants are asked to meet at Stark Park, across from Four Square in Eltham for a small meeting regarding safety, Mark says.

"We will then move to locations where we can be seen by traffic."

The South Taranaki District Council have recently been approved for the Innovating Streets for people pilot fund by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The fund go towards two South Taranaki projects, in Waverley and Eltham, testing potential street treatments aimed at reducing issues identified in the Town Master Plans developed last year.


In Eltham, the focus is the main road pedestrian crossing.

Around $450,000 is confirmed for the two projects, 90 per cent of this comes from the fund, with ratepayers' money paying the left over 10 per cent.

There will be no additional cost to ratepayers however, as the additional expenditure required for the contribution is coming from existing council roading budgets.

The pilot projects will be used to inform street improvements throughout the district with timelines for the co-design and community consultation still to be finalised.

Mark says this will only be a temporary solution.

"This means they will only be testing solutions. It is great we have the funding but we need this to be permanently fixed."

In an emailed statement, councillor Steffy Mackay says she is delighted the council have been approved the funding.

"The aim of this programme is to test potential treatments and compare which are the most beneficial at reducing the identified issues.

"I'm glad they are going to take the time to trial various remedies to see what works best as this gives me more faith that we will get it right first time."

She says the South Taranaki District Council has been advocating for the community and working in consultation with NZTA to fix the issue.

"I'm really pleased we have received this funding from NZTA and I look forward to working with them and the community to look at how we can successfully address this issue and make appropriate changes for the safety of our residents."

Steffy says the crossing is in a dangerous location.

"There has been numerous near misses of someone getting seriously hurt. Especially when coming into town from the North and you are not aware that there is a pedestrian crossing as you come around the corner from the library.

"It would be great to have this safety issue addressed once and for all. "

She says there should be caution used by both vehicle drivers and pedestrians.

"Sometimes we have vehicles travelling too fast and other times we have pedestrians just walk out onto the crossing without having consideration for motorists."

Taranaki system manager Ross I'Anson says the safety of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, is Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's priority.

"We welcome the community to raise any concerns with us. We are also working closely with council on improvements to the town centre through the Innovating Streets for people project."

■ The protest starts at 7.30am on Friday, July 3.

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