POLICE say protestors who locked themselves together and laid in the middle of a road near a fracking site in North Yorkshire have been cut free by a specially-trained police team and arrested.

North Yorkshire Police said the two women were cut free at about 9.15am in Habton Road, Kirby Misperton, near Pickering, and arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway,and the road was re-opened a short time later.

A spokesman said a 49-year-old man had also been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer, and they all remained in custody at this time.

Superintendent Alisdair Dey, of North Yorkshire Police, said earlier that the actions of the two people in the road caused significant disruption to the local community, particularly as people went to work or school this morning.

"It's challenging to balance the wishes of everyone at Kirby Misperton," he said.

"However, once the balance has tipped from peaceful protest to deliberate acts that are unlawful and cause unreasonable disruption to local residents, then we have to take action."