A large section of the M27 is closed to motorists tonight – but why is the closure in place?

Emergency repair works have been carried out by National Highways for most of this afternoon, with work set to continue into the night.

A broken manhole cover at junction seven of the eastbound side is the root of the extensive delays.

Initially, lanes one and two (of three) were closed for safety purposes.

READ MORE: M27 closed as emergency repair works get underway

However, the nature of the work required the entirety of junction seven to be closed.

Motorists have been diverted off the motorway as repairs get underway.

A spokesperson from National Highways said: “The M27 eastbound is now closed within J7 for Hedge End/Southampton for contractors to complete a safety critical carriageway repair.

“Traffic is being diverted via the exit and entry slip roads with 50 minute delays on the approach, back towards J4 for the M3.”

It is not yet known how long the closure will be in force for.