EXTINCTION Rebellion protesters have attempted to block council workers from removing the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

Parents from Hove, together with members of Extinction Rebellion Brighton, attempted to block workers from removing the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane on Thursday evening.

They rolled out yoga mats and performed yoga exercises in the path of oncoming machinery used to remove road markings.

The protesters also obstructed the lane using bicycles on their stands, with Extinction Rebellion flags attached.

The activists took action on behalf of local cyclists, young people and school children who want to "address climate change through cycling safely and sustainably to school."

They are calling for a permanent cycle lane along Old Shoreham Road to connect parts of the city directly with central Brighton.

The blockade was also an expression of solidarity with all those who use the road to travel to work, or who carry out their work by bicycle, and who deserve to feel safe, organisers said.

Brennan Holt, a spokesperson for the local group of parents, said: “It is heart breaking to watch the removal this week. The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane was a beautiful thing to come out of lockdown.

“It signified a progressive and positive step for the city, opening up opportunities for groups to cycle that would never have had the confidence before, creating links to schools, local parks and into town.

“Many people did not know about the consultation and are shocked and surprised that the lane they use daily, is now being taken out.

“My kids feel very upset and let down. They want to cycle along there like they have been. To use my seven-year-old son’s words,‘it’s just stupid’."

It was the third night of the week that activists have attempted to prevent the cycle lane’s removal.

Brighton and Hove Council staff have been working overnight to remove the Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes since Monday, with the goal of finishing in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The cycle lane was one of a series of “active travel” schemes introduced across Brighton and Hove during the first national coronavirus lockdown at the behest of the Conservative government.

The emergency active travel schemes were introduced when the government was urging people not to use public transport.

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane was created in May last year, in place of a lane of other traffic on each side of the road. It joined the existing cycle lane between The Drive and Dyke Road.

At the time, Labour was the biggest party on the council.

The council received more than £3 million from the government in the first two tranches of “emergency active travel funding”.

A report before councillors last month said that almost £280,000 of funding was immediately at risk because of the vote to remove the cycle lane.

Conservative Councillor Dawn Barnett has repeatedly called for the authority to hurry up and get the job done - even offering to paint over the cycle lane herself.

She said: “It went in overnight. It has been weeks since the decision.

“It is beginning to look as though they do not have any respect for a democratic decision.”