Local Councils, Nestrans and Businesses Join Forces to Combat Air Pollution

Stuart SmithNews

Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans (North East Regional Transport Partnership) are working with local commercial fleet operators in a new initiative that will 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, yesterday (9 November) with award presentations to inaugural members including DHL, Dyce Carriers, Freelands Freight Services, Hargreaves Logistics and William Walker Transport. The Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council fleets are leading by example and were among the first to sign up to the scheme.

Councillor Ross Grant, Spokesman for Transport and Regeneration at Aberdeen City Council, welcomed members and officials to the launch and said,

“This is the first ECO Stars scheme in Scotland to be run as a partnership and 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, said: “The Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire 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.”

For more information call the ECO Stars Team on 01543 416416 or visit www.ecostars-uk.com