Police expect there to be traffic disruptions across various major roads in preparation of a funeral where a “large number” of people are expected to attend.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says there will be increased police presence in the North Watford area this evening (February 22), ahead of a funeral service on Tuesday (February 23) that is believed to have a “large number” of mourners.

The service will be taking place at a church in North Watford and police say “well over” the permitted 30 people will attempt to attend.

There will then be a slow-moving funeral cortege which is likely to cause delays travelling to Bedfordshire.

Here is what you need to know to avoid being stuck in traffic:

Which routes are likely to be affected?

The funeral cortege on February 23 is said to cause delays on routes around North Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Redbourn, according to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

After the funeral in North Watford, vehicles will travel towards Bedfordshire for the burial.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time if travelling in the Hemel Hempstead and Watford area on February 23.

While there is no clear route which the cortege will take, motorists should mainly try to avoid Leavesden Road, St Albans Road and Gammons Lane.

It is likely that if the cortege is to continue, they would take the A41 or M1 to travel to Bedfordshire.

Superintendent Nick Caveney said: “We anticipate some disruption in the local area, including possible traffic congestion. We recognise the likely impact on local residents and businesses and will work to minimise this wherever possible.”

Why is there a large funeral?

Hertfordshire Constabulary says the person who died has a large family and it is "likely" more than 30 people will attend the funeral, which would breach coronavirus laws.

Police say they have been liaising with the deceased's family, funeral directors, the church, Watford Borough Council, and other agencies.

Police say residents in North Watford can expect to see a heightened police presence in the area from today, with letters sent to some residents over the weekend warning them about the upcoming funeral.

There’s an increased police presence in the north Watford area this evening (February 22) and there will be extra officers on patrol ahead of the funeral.

It is understood that the “large family” may involve travellers, but Hertfordshire Constabulary has not officially confirmed this.

The Watford Observer understands that around 11 caravans were spotted at The Reach Free School in Rickmansworth on Saturday (February 20), but there is no confirmation whether this is in anyway linked with the planned event.

Supt Caveney said: "We will not tolerate large gatherings in excess of the regulations and we are putting a proportionate policing response in place. All agencies are working to prevent breaches from occurring by engaging ahead of time with family members.

"The funeral directors will be working to keep the number of mourners inside the church to within the 30-person limit."

He added: "In policing the pandemic, Hertfordshire Constabulary is following the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) guidelines in applying the coronavirus regulations in our response to any breaches. Our officers are well-briefed on what this entails and are moving through the four Es of engagement, explaining, encouraging and finally to enforcing the coronavirus regulations if necessary.

"It is always our intention to seek prevention first and enforcement last."