POLICE were called to protect the installation of controversial bike posts amid "threats and intimidation".

The four bike posts were installed in Ripe, near Lewes, with workman guarded by police officers amid fears of public disorder.

Bicycle posts were originally due to be installed on June 1. However, the project was abandoned for the day after being "disrupted by anti-cyclists".

Contractors arrived to find vehicles parked in the off-road area where the bicycle posts were to be located and the owners refused to move them.

Chalvington with Ripe Parish Council now faces a claim from the contractors for "lost time".

The Argus: Police called in to protect installation of bike posts amid 'threats and itimidation'

A Parish Council meeting held earlier this month had to be suspended after the clerk and several councillors were "intimidated, abused and threatened".

Several people interrupted proceedings and "verbally abused" representatives amid threats the planned installation would be disrupted again.

The council said it was "unfortunate" so many residents left the meeting as when it restarted, the "pressing matter of increased traffic through the villages" and a new Community Speedwatch initiative were discussed.

When the contractors returned on Monday, the bike posts were protected by police officers and finally installed.

"We are committed to improving the local environment," said Chalvington with Ripe Parish Council.

"We support cycling and want to provide a safe space where bicycles can be secured while cyclists enjoy our village and visit the cafe in the village shop."

The bike posts were a Community Infrastructure Levy project. They are funded by a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area.

They were finally installed on Monday, July 26.

The Argus: Police called in to protect installation of bike posts amid 'threats and itimidation'

The parish council said its residents were consulted about how the money would be spent. Details of the consultation process are on the parish website.

The council added: "Our view remains that, following a community-wide consultation process, a lawful decision was made to spend part of the Community Infrastructure Fund grant on the bike post project.

"It is regrettable that a few residents disagree with this decision.

"However, the threats and abuse from a few residents ignore the majority view of the parish. Further projects are at a design stage and will be implemented once agreed by the parish council."

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "Following discussions with local councillors, information was received to suggest there would be disorder during the fitting of bike posts in Ripe on Monday.

"Police attended the installation to prevent any potential breach of the peace.

"The matter passed without incident."