There are hours of gridlock traffic on the Hertfordshire M25 this afternoon after firefighters had to free people from vehicles.

Herts Fire and Rescue sent four fire engines to the scene of a multi-car crash between junction 21A (for the M1) and junction 22 (St Albans), after being called at 2.19pm.

“Firefighters have been working with the ambulance service to release a number of people from their vehicles,” a fire service spokesperson said.

While they worked, three of four lanes clockwise were closed - causing up to two hours of delays for motorists in Hertfordshire.

The fire engines began leaving the scene at around 4pm and a second lane was reopened. Two lanes remain closed and are not expected to clear until between 4.45pm and 5pm, according to National Highways.

Normal traffic is expected from 6pm at the earliest with traffic currently stretching back to the junction for Rickmansworth.

Update: The East of England Ambulance service has confirmed that three ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, and an ambulance officer vehicle were sent to the scene.

Two patients were taken to Watford General Hospital and one was transported to Barnet Hospital for further care.

Herts Police have asked anyone who saw what happened to call 101, quoting the reference ISR 0361 of 4/4. The force also confirmed that three vehicles were involved.