Two people are seriously injured after a two-car crash in the Nelson suburb of Bishopdale.

Fire Emergency New Zealand crews had to extricate a trapped person after arriving on the scene at Waimea Rd in front of a Caltex fuel station around 6.10pm, a police spokeswoman said.

Caltex Bishopdale fuel attendant Nick Baker, who heard the crash, said the crash was a head-on.

The crash happened after a driver drifted over the centre line near a merging site on Waimea Rd.

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Baker said traffic was backed up for about 30 minutes while Fire Emergency New Zealand freed the trapped person.

Police quickly restored traffic to one lane, he said.