Rail crossing barrier arms which haven't moved for an hour are causing traffic chaos in Mount Maunganui.

A police media spokesman said the barrier arms, have been down for about an hour and police were concerned for people's safety.

Cars were driving around the barrier arms to get to where they were going "and we are concerned a train might come while they are doing so".

The spokesman said KiwiRail had been advised but it was not known how long the barrier arms would be down for.

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The spokesman said motorists should try to take an alternative route to get to where they need to go until the arms could be fixed.