Brighton has unveiled the UK’s first temporary ‘rainbow crossing’ to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness.

The crossing – on Madeira Drive, next to Brighton beach – was unveiled today by local artists, and actress Heather Peace.

Rainbow crossings have appeared in place of traditional zebra crossings across the world, including in Canada, Australia and Norway.

Welcoming the installation, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “This is a great tribute to that spirit of diversity and inclusiveness embraced by our city.

“Brighton is such a creative, colourful place and the new rainbow crossing wonderfully reflects that. It’s a lovely and fitting addition in the run up to Pride 2014.”

Peace said: “I knew there could be no better place in Europe to create a Rainbow Crossing than in my home town of Brighton.

“[New single] ‘We Can Change’ is my big gay anthem. It’s an empowering tribute to equality and I wanted the crossing to be a beautiful symbol to represent that during LGBT Pride month.

“It’s a gift from me to anyone that embraces diversity.”

A team of artists from the JAG Gallery and Modern Gallery worked to decorate the crossing, alongside Julieanne Gilburt and street artist Cassette Lord.

Gilburt said: “We’ve loved creating the rainbow crossing. It’s a beautiful message and a perfect addition to the artists’ quarter on Madeira Drive. We hope everyone will come down and enjoy it.”

Police have warned pedestrians not to consider it an official crossing, as it is not covered by traffic laws.

The temporary installation, which is expected to attract tourists, will be removed next week.