March madness descended on the nation's motorways this morning, plaguing citybound drivers with extended commute times.

Drivers trying to get into Auckland and Wellington experienced significant delays due to traffic incidences and the volume of people on the road.

Drivers heading into Wellington using State Highway 1 near Tyers Rd sat in long queues following a crash which blocked two lanes.

One motorist stuck in traffic posted on Twitter: "Oh wow. Traffic backed up to Newlands and not even moving. At this rate it will take about 30 mins just to get to the infamous!"

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The situation was not much better in Auckland where motorists sat for hours on citybound motorways.

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) spokeswoman Sarah Azam said the heavy traffic was to be expected in March.

"It is March which is the busiest month that we have on the motorways because students are back at uni, schools are back and people are back into their new year routines."

Ms Azam said there had been no specific incidences which had slowed down traffic today.

"The weather is not so good which means people are slowing down and increasing following distances, which is the right thing to do, but it does mean it can have an impact on slowing things down."

Commuters coming from Hobsonville on the Northwestern Motorway into the city centre faced travel times of up to an hour while those travelling from Takanini on the Southern Motorway experienced journey times of around one hour 20 minutes.

Edmonde Road looking south. Photo / NZTA
Edmonde Road looking south. Photo / NZTA

Meanwhile, in the Bay of Plenty, motorists faced significant delays due to a car and a truck which collided on SH2.

Senior sergeant Mike Membery said there was a five-car nose-to-tail crash on State Highway 29, on the bridge which had also caused delays.

"People can expect delays so we ask people to give themselves a bit of extra time to get to where they are going. There may be fluid [petrol] on the road, so people should take extra care," Mr Membery said.

The NZTA warned Auckland motorists that the motorway height detection system will be out of action from tomorrow. The organisation planned improvements on the current system which notifies drivers if they are over-height at a point on the motorway, giving them an opportunity to take an alternative route rather than having to pull over.

Acting Auckland Highway Manager, Paul Glucina, said the improvements will help reduce the number of delays faced by motorists due to bridge strikes.

"Bridge strikes or damage to infrastructure can cause delays that can affect many road users. This improved technology is another step in reducing the risks from over-height vehicles."

The replacement of six signs on SH1 will start this Thursday and will take until the end of June to complete.

The current system won't be operating during the upgrade.

Meanwhile, in the Bay of Plenty, motorists faced significant delays due to a car and a truck which collided on SH2.

Senior sergeant Mike Membery said there was a five-car nose-to-tail crash on State Highway 29, on the bridge which had also caused delays.

"People can expect delays so we ask people to give themselves a bit of extra time to get to where they are going. There may be fluid [petrol] on the road, so people should take extra care," Mr Membery said.

The NZTA also warned Auckland motorists that the bridge motorway height detection system will be out of action from tomorrow. The organisation planned improvements on the current system which notifies drivers if they are over-height at a point on the motorway, giving them an opportunity to take an alternative route rather than having to pull over.

Acting Auckland Highway Manager, Paul Glucina, said the improvements will help reduce the number of delays faced by motorists due to bridge strikes.

"Bridge strikes or damage to infrastructure can cause delays that can affect many road users. This improved technology is another step in reducing the risks from over-height vehicles."

The replacement of six signs on SH1 will start this Thursday and will take until the end of June to complete.

The current system won't be operating during the upgrade.

- Additional reporting Bay of Plenty Times