POLICE are urging people to turn in "mindless yobs" who blocked a main road with rubble at the weekend.

As reported in The Northern Echo yesterday, rocks, branches and rubble were strewn across all three lanes of the westbound carriageway of the 70mph A174 Middlesbrough Parkway, in the early hours of Saturday.

Inspector Eric Robinson, the head of the Cleveland Police's traffic unit, said yesterday: "People have a duty to contact us with whatever information they have to help our efforts in tracing those responsible."

Four cars hit the debris at speed. No one was injured, but two taxis were badly damaged. The sump was ripped off one, while all four tyres on the other were shredded.

Insp Robinson said: "It is not a prank, it is a serious criminal act. It beggars belief that someone could have thought of doing such a thing.

"We might easily have been looking at a number of fatalities."

The incident provoked a row, with Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Ashok Kumar calling for a meeting with Cleveland Chief Constable Sean Price, saying police should have been better prepared after tearaways threw rocks at traffic on the road the previous weekend.

Police said yesterday that patrols would be stepped up in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on (01642) 301558 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.