On Clean Air Day 2023, Brompton, the British bicycle brand, and Possible, the climate action charity, have released new data highlighting the “worst offenders” when it comes to polluting mayoral cars.
In order to help civic leaders take the lead on decarbonising transport, Brompton is offering some councils with the most polluting vehicles the chance to swap their vehicle for a new electric Brompton.
According to a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request, submitted by Brompton and Possible, several councils are still using high-polluting vehicles to carry out official duties.
Having recently sold their Rolls Royce Ghost, Glasgow’s current Volkswagen Phaeton luxury saloon is the most polluting mayoral car – emitting more than 224g of CO2 per kilometre.
The London Borough of Hillingdon are using a Jaguar XJ which releases more than 184gCO2 per kilometre, whilst simultaneously bringing a legal challenge to the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Sheffield City Council chose not to charge cars to enter their Clean Air Zone – but if they had, their mayor’s diesel Jaguar XJ Sovereign (184gCO2/km and up) would have fallen foul of the zone.
Knowsley Council is promoting Clean Air Day in 2023, but their mayor also drives a highly polluting Jaguar Sovereign.
Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton said: ‘’At Brompton, our mission is to create urban freedom from happier lives. At every level we should be making a joint effort to reduce air pollution and congestion, and that goes for local authorities and those in positions of leadership.
“We want to work with mayors across the country, helping them (where possible) to set an example and ditch their polluting cars in favour of a sustainable mode of transport.’’
At a time when the Government is aiming to switch half of all short trips in towns and cities to walking and cycling, Brompton and Possible believe mayors making the change themselves could be a “positive step” in local leadership on the issue.
It’s increasingly clear that e-bikes will play a major role in meeting decarbonisation targets for transport – as they enable people to take longer journeys than they might otherwise take on a traditional bike.
The initial offer to replace a mayoral vehicle with a Brompton Electric is being made to a selection of urban local authorities and will be fulfilled on a first-come-first-served basis.
Hirra Khan Adeogun, co-director at Possible added: “With the searing heat and flash flooding these past few days, it’s time our political leaders take the action the climate crisis demands. We need to slash car use in our towns and cities by over a quarter by 2030, and our mayors should lead by example.
“We’re so pleased to be able to support them to embrace a cleaner, greener, healthier and happier future by switching their taxpayer funded cars for state-of-the-art, British built e-bikes.”