Protesters are urging drivers and pedestrians to slow down and think when approaching Eltham's main crossing.

This morning over 20 concerned Eltham residents stood along the main road, participating in a public demonstration to raise awareness about the safety of the crossing.

The protesters held placards, painted with messages urging drivers and pedestrians to show caution.

South Taranaki District councillor Mark Bellringer arranged the demonstration.

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"This has been an ongoing issue for quite some time and something needs to be done. I'm happy with the number of people who turned up to participate.

"I'm organising another protest during the school holidays to make sure the message gets across."

 Cody Bulmer says vehicles need to slow down.
Cody Bulmer says vehicles need to slow down.

The South Taranaki Council has been approved for the Innovating Streets for people pilot fund by the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. The funds go towards South Taranaki projects, in Waverley and Eltham.

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

He says being approved for the pilot fund is great, but something needs to be done urgently.

"We need action now."

Mark says he believes changing the speed limit to 30km and having a flashing sign would be the best fix.

"The width of the road can't be increased as the parks would be lost. We're wanting people to visit our town but they need to take a little longer to go through."

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Four Square owner and operator Kieran Williams gave the protesters hot chips to thank them for their efforts.

"They're doing their bit for the community so I thought I would help warm them up with some chips."

He says he is wanting people to get across safely.

"This is a very busy road, I see it all the time. We have a combination of trucks trying to stop and a blind corner. We need more awareness that there is a crossing here."

Protesters urged drivers and pedestrians to show more caution.
Protesters urged drivers and pedestrians to show more caution.

Eltham resident Jenny Mack says both drivers and pedestrians are at fault.

"I see trucks fly through the town but I also see pedestrians not looking before they cross. There needs to be education on both sides."

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She says she wants to speed limit to be changed to 30km.

"If the speed limit was lower it would be easier for vehicles to stop."

Maree Liddington holding a placard.
Maree Liddington holding a placard.

Maree Liddington organised a petition to make the crossing safer in 2019.

"What we need is action, there has been consultation so something needs to be done."

In 2018, NZTA launched a survey for safety improvements on State Highway 3.

"I attended the workshop about this and voiced my concerns. The project depended on funding. A year later, nothing had changed so launched the petition, receiving 400 signatures in a week.

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"I think this demonstration is good as it's getting the point across."

Lindsay Maindonald, a member of the Eltham and Kaponga community board, says he has lived in Eltham for 22 years and over that time the road has gotten busier.

"Every day this is left and nothing done, is another day someone could get hurt and injured."

He says he was happy people were showing their appreciation during the demonstration.

"Pedestrians have said thank you and drivers gave us a wave. It shows people understand what we're doing and why we're doing it."