Clogged roads and crashes as New Year's traffic builds up

3:32 pm on 27 December 2023
Traffic including trucks on Auckland motorway

File photo: Traffic is building for New Year's. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Passengers have been seen getting out of vehicles and walking alongside standstill traffic on the Kāpiti Expressway earlier today, as queues and crashes caused chaos around the country.

There were reports on social media of traffic backed up between Ōtaki and Levin with the drive taking 40 minutes on Wednesday - double what it usually would.

Movement was slow heading north into Taihape, with a report of a 3km-line of traffic.

Multiple crashes throughout the country have also added to travel times.

State Highway One south of Sanson has reopened, after being closed for more than an hour due to a campervan crash near Rongotea this afternoon.

No one was injured, but both lanes of SH1 near Rowe Road were closed, and diversions were in place.

And Remutaka Hill has reopened in both directions after a three-vehicle crash that left one car on fire. Three people received minor to moderate injuries.

A three-car crash happened on Remutaka Hill on 27 December, 2023.

A three-way car crash on Remutaka Hill on 27 December, 2023. Photo: Supplied / Jeff Ng

A crash on Haywards Hill Road in Wellington, which previously closed the road to eastbound traffic, has since been cleared.

Meanwhile, motorists heading north through Auckland to holiday hotspots face a long, slow drive as the summer exodus gets underway in earnest.

At 2pm, northbound motorway traffic was backed up from the Harbour Bridge to Newmarket, and was slow-moving as far south as the Greenlane interchange.

Those heading south faced slow-moving queues from the junction with State Highway 20 in Manukau almost to Ramarama, at the foot of the Bombay Hills.

Part of the Harbour Bridge was closed for maintenance, which was also causing delays but for southbound traffic only.

North of Auckland, traffic was heavy but mostly flowing.

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