RESIDENTS of Kendal awoke to find chalked bike lanes outside their homes and makeshift 20mph road signs on their streetlamps.

Environmental activists put up the signs during the night on Aynan Road and Highgate as part of a protest 'slow bike ride'.

Extinction Rebellion South Lakes (XRSL) etched the bike lanes with washable chalk as part of the group's socially distanced ride - to raise awareness of traffic issues - on Monday.

Cumbria County Council is investigating the incident as it is illegal for members of the public to change road signage.

XRSL representatives said they had taken care to organise the action 'in a responsible way'.

“We’ve all noticed the reduced levels of traffic and pollution on our streets and we’re imagining a different future for our towns and cities," said Bee Pooley, an activist from Kendal.

“There’s a real appetite now to redesign our streets to make them safer and healthier for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Fifty cyclists of various ages took part in the ride around the town and used the chalk outlines on the road as guides.

XR activist, Adrian Porter, said “For years local cycling campaigners have been pressuring for safer bike routes in Kendal.

“We’ve taken great care to organise this action in a responsible way to encourage Cumbria County Council to seize the initiative and install cycle lanes through town so that people can move about safely while social distancing”.

The signs have been removed.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said it is illegal for members of the public to change road signage or mark a public highway with misleading signage no matter the reason behind it.