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Mayor Slow to park bike for Merc perk

HIS 30kph city speed limit was the scourge of Dublin motorists -- but it won't stop the new Lord Mayor availing of a chauffeur-driven Mercedes.

As first citizen, Labour's Andrew Montague is entitled to drive around the city in the plush car and it is understood he will be taking advantage of the perk.

The luxurious top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz E Class is supplied free by MSL Motors in Ballsbridge every year.

While keen cyclist Mr Montague could not be contacted, it is understood he will be using the car when wearing the Mayor's chain of office.

His preference would be to cycle but the Mayor does not consider it feasible to travel around on a bicycle when donning the heavy gold regalia, it is understood.

"I believe his intention is to cycle as much as he can. But he has to wear the chain of office. It's a very valuable item," a source said.

The insider added he would have to avail of the car for "security reasons", though it would not be his "first choice".

The valuable chain was presented by King William III, better known as William of Orange, to the City of Dublin in 1698.

It is composed of decorative links including the Tudor rose, a harp and a trefoil shaped knot, according to the Mansion House website.

Mr Montague could not be contacted as he was attending functions and meetings on his first full day in office.

The Mayor's car normally comes with a D-1 number plate but this year's Merc was assigned 11-D-11 as a vintage car enthusiast had already been assigned the 11-D-1 registration.

Dublin City Council has previously been criticised for choosing a gas-guzzling Merc as the Lord Mayor's car over a 'greener' hybrid vehicle.

A senior engineer decided a fuel efficient Toyota Prius was not suitable for Dublin's first citizen, who was Labour's Paddy Bourke at the time.