Limerick’s mayor goes green with Prius for 2013

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

CLLR Gerry McLoughlin is expected to take delivery of one of the first 131-L registered plates in the city next week when he sits behind the wheel of the mayoral car.

CLLR Gerry McLoughlin is expected to take delivery of one of the first 131-L registered plates in the city next week when he sits behind the wheel of the mayoral car.

Limerick City Council is keeping faith with the fuel-efficient Toyota Prius model it has used in recent years.

A spokesman for the council said it had not opted for the 131-L-1 number plate on cost grounds.

The Revenue Commissioners can charge over €1,000 for such prestige number plates, it is understood, and Limerick City Council has not paid for that privilege since the recession started to bite in 2008.

The vehicle for 2013 is being leased from Brian Geary Motors.

According to the council, the 12-month lease on the mayoral motor for 2012 cost €6,765.

“The road tax is paid by the garage where the car is leased from, insurance is covered under the Limerick City Council insurance policy and fuel costs are refunded to the mayor on submission of receipts from the mayor’s allowance,” the council spokesperson said.

It his hoped that whatever mileage costs are incurred during the year will be offset by the selection of a low-emission hybrid car.

Mayor McLoughlin, who was unavailable to comment this Wednesday, has already proven his environmental credentials by cycling to work in City Hall most days, while he also pedals his way to many of his official engagements.

He estimates that he does around 20 miles a day on two wheels and during the course of his inauguration speech in June, he advocated the rollout of more cycling lanes for the streets of Limerick.

Last autumn, Cllr McLoughlin was presented with a mayoral bicycle by Tribikes in Raheen.

“I cycle because I really enjoy it, but also I am very aware of my carbon footprint,” he commented at that time.

“The bike is kind to the environment. As a sport lover I see it as a way to stay fit and healthy. So my vehicle of choice for city movement is the bike,” he said.