Greenpeace activists storm car dealerships in 'national day of action' against 4x4s

Environmental activists stormed car dealerships in seven cities yesterday, handcuffing themselves to Land Rovers and 4x4s in a protest against "gas-guzzling cars".

The campaigners from Greenpeace also held demonstrations outside a further 30 car dealerships during a "national day of action" against the 4x4. Among them was the group's director, Stephen Tindale. The former diplomat and New Labour adviser is still on police bail after helping to storm the Land Rover plant in Solihull last month, when 30 volunteers briefly halted production.

Branding Land Rover bosses as "climate criminals", Mr Tindale said: "We've taken direct action today to stop Land Rover selling these climate-wrecking cars."

"A petrol Range Rover Sport does a measly 12mpg in town - that's less miles per gallon than a Model T Ford did 80 years ago. In a world where 150,000 people are dying each year because of climate change, selling cars like this for urban use is indefensible."

Dealerships in London, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Southampton were affected by the protests.

Last week The Independent on Sunday revealed that motorists who drive BMWs, people carriers and Range Rovers face a five-fold increase in road tax under radical plans to combat Britain's spiralling greenhouse gas emissions.

Following last month's Solihull protests, Mark Foster, a Land Rover spokesman, said: "We accept that the petrol Range Rover will do just over 12mpg in urban areas, but the majority (65 per cent) of Range Rovers we sell are diesel and do 20mpg. Ford is doing what it can to reduce emissions, but any development requires a sustainable business.

"We are in a tough industry - you only have to look at Longbridge," he said.

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