Motorists returning to work after a long weekend in Wellington had a nasty surprise this morning, with heavy traffic backing up in some parts.

A New Zealand Transport Agency spokeswoman said there was congestion between Poplar Ave and Mackays Crossing at the start of the morning peak.

"Temporary traffic management was in place to allow crews to clear slips from Coast Rd. This, combined with commuters returning to work after the Wellington Anniversary long weekend, caused some delays."

She said the delays were now beginning to ease.

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"The temporary traffic management has now been lifted and the delays in that area are now starting to ease."