Campaigners promise massed Animal rights campaigners say Saturday's protest march against the building of a medical research centre in the city will be the biggest of its kind staged in the city.

More than a dozen coaches carrying demonstrators from as far afield as Yorkshire, Devon and Suffolk are travelling to the city for the Speak World Day Mass Protest.

The event forms part of a series of worldwide protests against medical research on animals and is specifically targeted at Oxford University's construction of a new research facility on South Parks Road.

The demonstration comes just two weeks after Oxford University unsuccessfully tried to obtain a temporary injunction at the High Court to create a city-wide exclusion zone for campaigners and prevent them from using klaxons, whistles, sirens and other noise amplification equipment during protests.

Speak spokesman Mel Broughton said he expected the university's actions would lead to more people participating in the march.

He said: "We were expecting a big turn-out anyway, but what has happened with the High Court shows that the university have tried very seriously to stamp on people's rights to protest.

"They have tried to silence people, but more will now come out to support the cause."

Speak says it has cooperated with the police in negotiations about the route of Saturday's march.

Mr Broughton said: "Talks with police have gone well and we look forward to a good demonstraton on the day and hopefully the scenes that happened on January 14 won't be repeated again. We are very much looking forward to a lawful event."

Speak expects that more than 1,000 people will turn up, although police estimate the figure will be more like 600.

A police spokesman said: "Planning for this event has been progressing well and we have had several useful discussions with the organisers from Speak."

The march will start in Broad Street at noon, where the group will meet to hear speeches. At around 1pm they will move off on a procession around the city.

A university spokesman said they had nothing to add to previous statements.