OXFORD’S Green Lord Mayor revealed she has the courage of her convictions on a “slow travel” civic trip to Europe.

Elise Benjamin has shunned air travel for environmental reasons and stuck to that principle on a 12-hour overland trip to Oxford’s twin city of Bonn in Germany.

It meant a 5am start for the Iffley Fields councillor followed by a bus to London and three separate train journeys.

Ms Benjamin finally arrived in Bonn nearly 12 hours later to represent Oxford at a major civic celebration in the German city.

“It is primarily an environmental decision,” she said. “It probably saves half of the CO2 emissions by travelling this way.”

The journey to Bonn included the X90 bus, the Eurostar and domestic train services through Belgium and Germany.

Ms Benjamin was in the city for Bonn Week, a celebration of the city’s culture, heritage and international links that takes place every four years.

It is not the first time the Lord Mayor, who has also vowed to make her shorter journey’s around Oxford by bike not car, has made such a trip.

Ms Benjamin is married to former Green city councillor Craig Simmons and the couple have one daughter. The family have travelled extensively without resorting to flying.

She said: “We have travelled all over Europe as far as the Med, all the way through Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece.

“It is very relaxing. The term is slow travel but it is just very pleasant as the time pressure is not the same.

“We have met people from across the world who travel like this and prefer it.”

The Lord Mayor said travel costs compared to flying varied depending on when and how you travelled.

She did not have the exact costs yet for her Bonn trip but said it was comparable to flying. Her travel costs for her year in office will be met by the council’s £28,000 civic budget.

The pot covers travel and event costs for the city’s Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff.