DRIVERS honked their horns and revved their engines with frustration as a busy Oxford road was blocked by activists.

Motorists faced stints of delays on Botley Road this afternoon, as climate change protestors rallied against the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

OPINION: Extinction Rebellion activist explains why he blocked Botley Road

Extinction Rebellion, the movement behind recent disruption in London, stopped traffic by walking into the middle of the road for several minutes at a time.

Police officers stood watch in case the peaceful demonstration took a turn. 

Queues built on both sides of the road as the group took their stand at 12.30pm, waiting until traffic lights turned red at the pedestrian crossing near Osney Bridge.

As the lights turned green again, they remained in place clutching banners and placards, including one that said: "Very sorry for the delay, we won't be long."

They held up traffic for about five minutes each time and handed out leaflets to motorists as they queued.

Marston resident Ben Kenward, a university lecturer, was among the dozens of people who took part. 

He said: "We are here to send a message and also to deliberately disrupt. It's an absolute last resort - a climate catastrophe is looming."

He apologised to affected drivers, adding: "We hate having to do this but scientists have been saying this [about climate change] for decades - how many more before we start doing something?"

The £3.5 billion expressway, which could pass either to the west or east of Oxford, is scheduled to open in 2030.

Mr Kenward said the road would bring more cars and more pollution.

He said the group plans more action in Oxford and today's small-scale protest was just the 'launch', adding: "This movement is growing very fast."

Oxford Mail:

Fellow protester Rowan Tilly, from East Oxford, added: "Scientists have clearly pressed the emergency button [on climate change].

"You have to balance annoying some drivers with not robbing our children of their lives [over] a much more serious situation of climate catastrophe."

In London, traffic in the city centre was brought to a standstill this week as 5,000 activists blocked five central bridges.