Greenpeace blocks the British headquarters of Volkswagen

Greenpeace said it has blocked Volkswagen's British headquarters in protest against diesel emissions.

The environmental organization launched the stunt at the office of the car brand in Milton Keynes around 7 am on Monday.

A spokeswoman said that activists have barricaded entrances in the building and set up a fake clinic that provides health advice to staff and members of the public.

It was claimed that more than 800 Volkswagen employees can not join the site – in positions such as marketing and distribution.

Concerns about nitrogen oxide emissions have increased since Volkswagen was found in September 2015 to mock air pollution tests for 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK.

Greenpeace demands that the company commits itself to stop producing diesel cars and switch to just producing electric models.

An estimated 40,000 premature deaths per year in the UK are caused by air pollution related to health problems such as childhood diseases, heart disease and dementia.

Volkswagen must take responsibility for deadly air pollution and commit to end diesel production now
Mel Evans, Greenpeace

Green Eveace campaigner for clean air, Mel Evans, said: "Volkswagen is the largest seller of diesel cars in the UK and is complicit in an air pollution crisis that fills emergency departments and general practices.

"Volkswagen sold us a lie that diesel was clean, and diesel addiction has serious consequences for people's health.

"Volkswagen will not meet us and will not listen, so today we have brought the truth about diesel to the door.

"Volkswagen must take responsibility for deadly air pollution and commit to end diesel production now."

Aarash Saleh, 33, a respiratory medicine doctor who belongs to one of the medical professionals's protest, said: "Diesel pollution is causing terrible suffering in the UK and saving a lifetime of restless health for our children.

"If you could see it, diesel would be banned tomorrow."

It is almost 12 months since Greenpeace activists prevented a cargo ship with cars – including Volkswagen diesel models – from the Sheerness harbor in Kent by using boats in September 2017 to climb aboard and hang on to the 89ft (27m) high unloading door.

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