Crashes, cows, heavy delays: Auckland motorists run gauntlet during holiday return

Crashes, cows on the motorway and wet weather have brought traffic to a standstill for Aucklanders returning from their holidays.

Motorists are being warned to delay their travel throughout the region - or face major delays.

Multiple crashes have clogged motorways in many places. It's a problem exacerbated by wet and greasy roads following rain.

A crash on SH1 southbound between Greenlane and Ellerslie has blocked multiple lanes after a ute overturned carrying cattle.

A witness reports a young cow running in panic along the motorway while emergency services attempted to herd it to safety.

"Please expect significant delays and pass the scene with care," an NZTA spokesperson said on Facebook.

A police spokesperson said 13 calves were freed, but were later recaptured and described as being "under control" on the motorway.

Another crash on SH1 southbound after Puhoi Rd has caused major delays between Warkworth and Puhoi, and the New Zealand Transport Agency is urging Kiwis to avoid it if they can.

"Please consider using SH16 as an alternative route or delaying your travel, if possible," it posted to Facebook.

Traffic northbound coming into the city is expected to be heavy until 8pm, the NZTA says.

"In Northland traffic will be busy southbound on State Highway 1 in Kawakawa and on State Highway 1 in Whangarei during the day," the NZTA says on Facebook

"Further south in Auckland, traffic is predicted to be heavy for most of the day between Puhoi and Wellsford and also in Takanini."

Motorists are advised to check the NZTA holiday tool to see where and when traffic congestion is expected to be worst.


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