FOUR protesters at a North Yorkshire fracking site who blocked a road by locking their arms into metal tubing have now been arrested.

A specialist North Yorkshire Police team was sent to Kirby Misperton to deal with the situation, and a spokesman said the intention was "to ensure the four people involved are safe and well", but "they have refused to discuss their intentions with officers".

Superintendent Alisdair Dey said their actions would cause significant disruption to local businesses.

She said: "It's a challenge to balance the the right of people to assemble and protest peacefully, against the right of people to go about their daily lives without disruption.

"However, when the balance tips from peaceful protest to deliberate, unlawful acts that cause unreasonable disruption to others - including companies going about their lawful business - then we need to take action."

A police spokesman said the four people have since been cut out and arrested - two people were cut out at about 11.45am and the remaining two at 1.15pm.

All four were checked over by police medics before being taken to custody.

A total of 24 people have now been arrested at the site since the beginning of September. Two were released with no further action, two accepted cautions, and the other 16 have been charged to court, for offences including obstructing the highway, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer.