Live: Traffic bumper to bumper for many holidaymakers New Zealand-wide heading home

Traffic is at snail’s pace heading into Auckland with traffic banked up nearly 12km along a stretch of the main state highway this afternoon.

A motorist says traffic north of Putaruru in the South Waikato is bumper to bumper to Tirau. She says it took an hour to get to Pairere and traffic is still crawling to Cambridge.

Further south a serious crash temporarily closed the main highway through Levin.

It’s bumper-to-bumper on several sections of SH1 between Topuni and Wellsford, through the Warkworth bottleneck and the Northern Motorway into Auckland.

The longest queue affects a stretch of road between Topuni and Wellsford, with motorists facing a slow and congested run for at least 12km.

Holidaymakers returning from the long weekend break are being warned to expect queues for the rest of the afternoon as they travel home.

Earlier the New Zealand Transport Agency reminded motorists to allow for extra time on the road heading back to main centres today at either end of the North Island.

A serious crash on SH1 near Avenue North Rd closed the highway just before 2pm. Motorists passing through the area were asked to follow the directions of emergency services and warned there would be delays.

Traffic is expected to be exceptionally heavy across the day on State Highway 1 at Kakakawa in the Bay of Islands heading south and through Kāpiti travelling between Peka Peka and Ōtaki.

The heaviest traffic in the north is expected between 10am and 1pm, and busy between 1 – 6pm today.

At the other end of the island the traffic is expected to be congested between 11am and 7pm.

The holiday road toll presently stands at six, five higher than last year and the worst since 2017.

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