Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils have teamed up with the Regional Transport Partnership and Nestrans to launch a new programme to improve air quality.
The Eco Stars scheme encourages and supports operators of HGVs, vans, buses and coaches to run their fleets more efficiently. ECO Stars fleet experts assess each fleet, award a star rating based on current performance and produce a ‘roadmap’ of recommendations which will help operators to reduce vehicle emissions while also reducing operating costs. Membership is free to all fleet operators, irrespective of the size of their operation.
The scheme was launched at the Town House, Aberdeen last month, with award presentations to inaugural members which included, DHL, Dyce Carriers, Freelands Freight Services, Hargreaves Logistics, John G Russell, Robert Gordon University, Sport Aberdeen, W Munro and William Walker Transport Ltd. The City and Shire council fleets are leading by example and were among the first applicants to the scheme.
Councillor Ross Grant, Spokesman for Transport and Regeneration at Aberdeen City Council, welcomed members and officials to the launch and said, “The Aberdeen City and Shire scheme is the first ECO Stars scheme in Scotland to be run as a partnership across more than one local authority area. This partnership is further strengthened by support from the North East Scotland Freight Forum and Nestrans for which we are grateful. Participation in the ECO Stars scheme will help the city with its target of reducing carbon emissions by 31% and compliance with national nitrogen dioxide and particulate air quality objectives by 2020.”
The ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme was originally set up in South Yorkshire, in 2009, when local councils wanted to tackle local air quality issues caused by transport. Seven years later, Eco Stars has gone from strength to strength, with 24 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.
Mark Cavers, Eco Stars Scotland manager, from consultants TRL who manage Eco Stars on behalf of local authorities said, “The Aberdeen City and Shire scheme means that all four main cities in Scotland have now joined the Eco Stars network and are working with their commercial fleet operators to improve air quality across Scotland.”
Councillor Graeme Clarke Vice-Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee said, “We hope that the north east’s fleet operators will take full advantage of this opportunity to make a difference to their local environment while at the same time improving their bottom line."