Green Councillor and Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Cleo Lake, has a new hybrid car for her Mayoral vehicle after the expiry of the lease on the previous vehicle, a diesel Vauxhall. The Lord Mayor is obliged to use a vehicle due to the number of engagements she travels to around Bristol and the need for her ceremonial garb and accessories to accompany her, but the new car, a Prius, is a ‘plug-in’ hybrid which will run solely off electricity for the vast majority of its trips in the city and thus produce no exhaust emissions while being driven. It will also be cheaper to run than the previous model due to the very low fuel costs, saving the council money.
Air quality is a major concern in Bristol, which has multiple areas that frequently exceed legal limits for air pollution. It has been estimated that over 300 early deaths per year in the city (8.5% of annual deaths) are attributable to air pollution, which disproportionately impacts people living in some of the most deprived wards in Bristol, such as Lawrence Hill and Eastville.
“I am delighted with this new hybrid car which will ‘electrify’ Lord Mayoral duties around the city compared to the previous leased car which was diesel. Working towards a more environmentally conscious Lord Mayoral vehicle was one of my aims during my year and once I became aware that the lease on the current vehicle was up for renewal I felt this was the perfect opportunity.
“Using a car unfortunately comes with the role as there is a lot of ceremonial clothing and items that must accompany me to up to four events a day across the city – but the replacement car will save the council money and be better for the city’s air quality, so it’s a win-win.”
Eleanor Combley, leader of the Green Councillor Group, welcomed the news, saying:
“Lord Mayor Cleo Lake is a credit to the Greens and to the City of Bristol. Air pollution kills hundreds of people in Bristol each year, so I am really proud that she has taken the opportunity to lead by example and do what she can in her role to make a difference.”
– Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Bristol – February 2017 report by Air Quality Consultants commissioned by Bristol City Council https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/32675/Health+Impacts+of+Air+Pollution+in+Bristol+February+2017/4df2fce5-e2fc-4c22-b5c7-5e7a5ae56701
– Bristol deprivation statistics are available at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/32951/Deprivation+in+Bristol+2015/429b2004-eeff-44c5-8044-9e7dcd002faf