Extinction Rebellion protesters hold up rush hour traffic

Protesters with Extinction Rebellion have caused major disruption to a key road into Birmingham city centre during rush hour.

They say it's part of their continuing campaign to prompt action on climate change.

About 30 demonstrators took up position on the busy Belgrave Interchange, causing hold-ups for for well over an hour.

The group would walk out into the carriageway for seven-minute periods, with some walking among the drivers explaining the reasons for the protest.

Protestors blocked the carriageway for seven minute periods. Credit: ITV News Central

At one stage, officers with West Midlands Police, who were monitoring the demonstration, asked protesters to step out of the road amid reports of a woman in labour stuck in the queues.

During the height of the disruption it was taking more than 10 minutes fordrivers to get one mile.

Police also told the group to halt their protests altogether on one side of the carriageway, because drivers backed-up in vehicles were inhaling fumes.

A protester said: "Police asked us not to block this side of the road, becausedrivers are getting stuck in the tunnels.

"So they're concerned about people breathing in the air, because of thefumes."

One commuter, whose journey to work had been disrupted, said: "They're running petrol out.

"Where's the sense?

"Some of us have got work to get to."

There was also verbal abuse, with some drivers making gestures as they drove past the knot of protesters.

Another commuter, Steve, who is a shift worker in healthcare, said: "It's annoying and I'm going to be late for work.<

"But on the other hand, I agree with what they're doing because we do need to change how we're living."

"We are in a climate emergency and the media and government aren't telling the truth. We are now in a position where we must rise up and disrupt business as usual to raise awareness of the crisis we face.

Eve Jones, local teacher and XR Birmingham volunteer