Drivers on the M53 in Cheshire are being asked to allow extra time for their journeys as part of the motorway will be closed for two weekends to repair two bridges.

Contractors for Highways England need to close a half mile stretch of the northbound carriageway at junction 7 near Overpool to resurface and re-waterproof the bridges which carry the motorway over the roundabout at the junction.

The closure will be in place from 8pm each Friday until 6am each Monday, with a diversion taking drivers off the exit slip road and then back on the entry slip road at the junction. The motorway will also be closed overnight for up to five nights in September.

The closures are likely to affect shoppers travelling back from Cheshire Oaks, football fans travelling to Tranmere Rovers on Friday, August 21 or Everton on Sunday, August 23, and visitors to the Wallasey Promenade Motor Rally on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5.

Drivers are being advised to allow at least an extra 20 minutes for their journeys or to plan alternative routes.

Mark Mosley, project manager at Highways England, said: “Our contractors will be carrying out essential repairs to the bridges which should reduce the need for emergency resurfacing work in the future and provide drivers with much smoother journeys.

“We’ll be closing the motorway overnight and at weekends when it’s generally less busy and they’ll be a simple diversion taking drivers off and then back on at junction 7. The motorway will also be open as normal during the bank holiday weekend at the end of August so people can make the most of the final bank holiday before Christmas.

“We’re advising drivers to allow at least an extra 20 minutes for their journeys when the motorway is closed or to find alternative routes.”

The northbound side of the M53 will be closed from 8pm on Friday, August 21 until 6am on Monday, August 24 and then again during the same times from Friday, September 4 until Monday, September 7. The carriageway will also be closed overnight, between 8pm and 6am, for up to five nights from Monday, September 7.

Drivers who intend to travel on the M53 during the closures are being advised to check the latest traffic conditions before they set off at