A bus breakdown on the Harbour Bridge has caused major delays for Aucklanders heading south from the North Shore.

The bus broke down in one of the three southbound lanes on the Harbour Bridge around 4pm.

The bus was cleared from the lane around 5.35pm, NZTA said, but the traffic problems had extended as far north as Tristram Ave.

Motorists were told to consider avoiding the Northern Motorway altogether and taking State Highways 18 and 16 through Greenhithe and West Auckland instead.

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NZTA said there are significant delays on Esmonde Rd and Onewa Rd on-ramps as well.

Meanwhile, another breakdown on the Northern Motorway was causing problems for motorists heading north.

A breakdown is blocking the left northbound lane in the Victoria Park Tunnel.