STEP Annual Conference 2017 – Registration now open!

One of STEP’s key aims is to gather and communicate information, and our Annual Conference enables us to engage with a wide audience.  The event has grown over the years and covers a wide range of subjects.

The 2017 Annual Conference is FREE and will take place in Verity House (COSLA), 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH on Friday 17 November 2017.  A buffet lunch will be provided. Invites will be issued via Eventbrite.

A copy of the agenda and conference flyer can be obtained by clicking on the link below.

STEP Conference 2017 Flyer

Register for STEP Conference 2017 here

Scotland’s national air quality strategy – Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) – was launched at the STEP conference in 2015. The morning session will provide an update on how implementation of CAFS is progressing, including the development of the CAFS technical frameworks the National Modelling Framework (NMF) and National Low Emission Framework (NLEF), and work to implement the Scottish Government commitment to Low Emission Zones. There will be ample time to ask questions, and the CAFS leads will be available throughout the day.

STEP was created to identify examples of good practice and make others aware of these exciting developments,. The afternoon sessions will focus on best practice and practicalities/implications of modal shift for various fleet types, and on how to drive behaviour change around air quality and sustainable transport.





Scottish Transport Emissions Partnership (STEP) Annual Conference          

17 November 2017, 10:00-16:00

COSLA Conference Centre, Verity House, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH

SAVE THE DATE for the Scottish Transport Emissions Partnership Annual Conference on Friday 17 November at the COSLA Conference Centre in Edinburgh.  The conference is FREE to attend. A buffet lunch will be provided. Invites will be issued via Eventbrite in the coming weeks. The event will provide an update on progress delivering the Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) strategy in the morning, and focus on examples of good practice in the field of behaviour change and sustainable transport in the afternoon. A full agenda will be made available shortly.

There are a couple of SPEAKER SLOTS AVAILABLE for the afternoon session on behaviour change. If you are interested in speaking at this event, or would like to suggest a possible speaker please email eleanor.pratt@sepa.org.uk with details by Fri 18 Aug 2017.


STEP is supporting National Clean Air Day – 15 June 2017

NCAD logo 

National Clean Air Day: Scotland

The first National Clean Air Day (NCAD) is being held on 15 June 2017.

The Scottish Government is co-ordinating the Scottish campaign with Global Action Plan, with support from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

The aim of the 2017 campaign is to encourage people to take simple actions to improve their health and reduce air pollution. A range of toolkits and support materials have been developed to make participating in NCAD easy for communities and workplaces. A dedicated health workers toolkit is available as is a toolkit for those who want to run ‘No idling’ campaigns in their communities.

Scottish campaign

National messaging has been agreed for the campaign and in Scotland, there are three key messages being highlighted:

  1. Leave the car at home
  2. Don’t idle
  3. Support your staff

The Scottish messaging is supported by a dedicated Scottish web section of the NCAD website, at www.cleanairday.org.uk/scotland.

The Scottish campaign will focus on media engagement through lifestyle articles, a social media campaign and activity from public bodies.

We want to specifically reach these audiences:

  • Children
  • The elderly
  • People with existing health conditions that are aggravated by air pollution.

Getting involved

Your organisation can help to spread the word about National Clean Air Day and promote key messages to your staff and customers. Visit the Scottish page on the NCAD website, download the National Clean Air Day 2017 flyer ,or check out the National Clean Air Day social media toolkit.


STEP Annual Conference 2016

Scottish Transport Emissions Partnership
Annual Conference 2016

We are delighted to announce that our fourth Annual Conference will take place in Verity House (COSLA), 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH on Thursday 3 November 2016.

Conference Focus
Scotland’s national air quality strategy – Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) – was launched at last year’s STEP conference, and there has been a great deal of activity behind the scenes, to help begin to deliver its aims and objectives. The morning session will provide an update on how this work is progressing, including the development of the CAFS technical frameworks the National Modelling Framework (NMF) and National Low Emission Framework (NLEF). There will be ample time to ask questions, and the CAFS leads will be available throughout the day.

STEP was created to identify examples of good practice and make others aware of these exciting developments, so the afternoon session will focus on key issues, interesting projects and exciting new technologies that could help to deliver a more sustainable transport system for Scotland. Our guest speakers will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that includes the all-electric park-and-ride in York, the hydrogen powered buses in Aberdeen and the use of wind turbines to generate hydrogen to power commercial vehicles.


Second meeting of the ECO Stars Scottish Network Group

The second meeting of the ECO Stars Scottish Network Group took place on the 4th May. The purpose of this group is for local authority scheme managers to meet to get an update on the overall progress of ECO Stars in Scotland, and for open discussion to share experience and good practice between local authority schemes. The event also provides a link to the UK ECO Stars Steering Group, with Ann Beddoes, UK ECO Stars Scheme Manager, giving the latest news and updates alongside scheme administrators Transport & Travel Research Ltd.

The session was well attended, with all seven existing local authority schemes present, plus representatives of three further local authorities who hope to start schemes in the near future. ECO Stars continues to go from strength to strength, with 21 commercial vehicle and 4 taxi and private hire schemes now running throughout the UK. Most recently schemes have started in West Yorkshire and Cornwall.

The group was provided with progress reports on each of the schemes in Scotland which, when combined, now covers 150 unique fleet operators and more than 13,000 vehicles. Recent discussions on the structure of the scheme in Scotland were also covered, which resulted in continuation of the local authority model to retain engagement and local relevance, but to also explore ways of working in partnership in future, such as jointly hosting regional workshops.

Case studies were provided by way of a recent star rating upgrade to Newtown Waste Solutions, who have moved from 4 to 5 star through good application of telematics, new vehicles and driver training. The recently produced video case study featuring Edinburgh-based Radical Travel was also shown.

The open discussion session covered preparation for procurement processes, and the need to think long-term when considering future funding streams and scheme structure.

It was agreed that the session is a useful forum for both existing and potential scheme managers, and another meeting is planned for autumn 2016.

For more information on ECO Stars please visit www.ecostars-uk.com


Fife’s ECO Stars Workshop

Fife ECOstars workshopFife Council held its second ECO Stars workshop to help Fife fleet operators become more efficient and improve local air quality.

Following the successful launch of Fife ECO Stars in October 2014, Fife Council held another workshop for local fleet operators (15 March) at City Chambers, Dunfermline.

Workshop attendees:

  • heard presentations on a range of topics including air quality and driver training,
  • took part in lively discussions relating to fuel efficiency, fleet management and cultural change in organisations, and
  • shared their experiences of the scheme.

Currently Fife’s scheme has over 70 members and membership continues to grow. Last December, we launched the Fife ECO Stars Taxi scheme which already has 18 members.

Roy Stewart, Senior Manager awarded ECO stars certificates to new members of the scheme during the event.

Roy Stewart said: “Signing up to ECO Stars provides tools and support to fleet operators to help reduce their costs and environmental impact.

“We’re delighted so many Fife firms have now joined the scheme, and it’s great to see local fleet operators committed to improving the efficiency of their fleet, developing their eco-credentials and reducing their environmental impact.”

For more information on air quality and the ECO Stars scheme please go to www.fifedirect.org.uk/airquality


STEP Conference 2015 – Materials Now Available

The STEP Annual Conference is a yearly event to widen engagement and develop the aims of STEP. Additionally, in 2015 STEP was delighted to host the official launch of the new Scottish Government air quality strategy Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS), The Road to a Healthier Future.

The aims of the 2015 Annual Conference were:

  • Launch the new Scottish Government air quality strategy Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS), and provide essential background to its development and implementation.
  • Examine how improved air quality can benefit Scotland as a whole.
  • Promote examples of good air quality management practices from around the UK.

The event was free, and was held on 4 November 2015 at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The conference was attended by approx 160 delegates from the public, private and third sectors. STEP would like to thank all the speakers, chairs, delegates and exhibitors who made the day such a success.

Conference Materials: Agenda, Speaker Profiles, Exhibitor Profiles, CAFS summary. The full version of CAFS can be found here.

Presentation Slides – STEP Slideshare

Videos of the STEP Conference presentations are available via the following links:





Dundee Shortlisted For Share in £20m Electric Taxi Prize

TaxiDundee has been named as one of eight UK cities which have been chosen to move onto the next stage of a bid to win a share in the Office of Low Emission Vehicles‘ (OLEV) £20 million fund to increase the number of plug-in taxis.

Each shortlisted city on the list (which also includes cities such as Birmingham, Cambridge and Sheffield) will recieve £30,000 of government funding towards a feasibility study to support their bid, to be independently carried out by the Energy Saving Trust. Local authorities who did not make the shortlist will still be able to submit bids, but will need to cover the cost of their own feasibility studies, which will provide supporting evidence as to costs of developing low emission taxi fleets in each city, and the installation of charging infrastructure.

STEP is extremely supportive of Dundee’s bid, particularly as Dundee City Council are a core member of STEP through their representation of the Central and East Pollution Control Group.

Continue reading “Dundee Shortlisted For Share in £20m Electric Taxi Prize”


STEP Welcomes Dundee ECO Stars Expansion for Taxis

Dundee City Council is expanding its ECO Stars project to further improve air quality in the city.

ECOstars Taxi 1The fleet recognition scheme will now be open to taxis and private hire vehicles – a first for a local authority in Scotland. By signing up to ECO Stars, taxi and private hire operators can gain recognition for their commitment to improving efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and reducing emissions.

Environment Convener Councillor Craig Melville said: “We are delighted to be able to expand our ECO Star Fleet Recognition Scheme and build on its success in the city. Signing up to this free scheme provides tools and on-going support for operators to reduce costs and their environmental impact. Everyone benefits from cleaner air and the council is committed to doing everything it can to try to reduce air pollution”.

Continue reading “STEP Welcomes Dundee ECO Stars Expansion for Taxis”


New EPUK and IAQM Guidance Document on Air Quality and Planning

Consultation now open on new EPUK and IAQM guidance: “Land-Use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality” – February 16 2015 deadline.

IAQM planning guidanceSTEP welcomes the revised guidance which will help to ensure that air quality is adequately considered in land use planning and development control processes. The guidance emphasises the importance of applying best practice measures to all developments, to both reduce pollutant emissions, and human exposure to emissions.

While this guidance applies to the planning system in England and Wales, the general principles contained in the document are applicable across the United Kingdon. A separate document will be adapted for use in the Scottish planning system.

The full consultation document can be viewed here. Comments should be sent to planning@iaqm.co.uk  before the closing date of 16 February 2015.


Help Shape £20m Funding for Greener Taxis

TaxiIt was announced in April 2014 that the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) would make at least £20m available for an ultra low emission Taxi Scheme, as part of the £500m package to grow the market for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) from 2015-20. The scheme is open to local authorities, and available UK wide. Funding will be provided for the required infrastructure, which it is hoped could be used by both taxis and private hire vehicles. Local authorities are also being invited to bid for funding to help offset additional costs of purpose-built ULEV taxis.

Feedback is being sought from local authorities, taxi and private hire companies on the preliminary guidance documents for the scheme (view the full document here). OLEV is now inviting expressions of interest for attending Taxi Scheme workshops, to be sent to olev.enquiries@Olev.gsi.gov.uk by 17th December. Places in the workshop will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and may be limited to one per organisation. For more information, visit the main OLEV website here.


Environmental Audit Committee – Action on Air Quality Report

The EAC’s recently-published air quality enquiry report Action on Air Quality provides policy recommendations aimed at helping to tackle the UK’s air pollution ‘public health crisis’ by both reducing emissions and human exposure to emissions, as well as raising public awareness of the issues. The report has been broadly welcomed by air quality campaigners, policy makers and experts – see here for a range of views on the report.

Key recommendations include:

– Introducing a national framework for low emission zones to help local authorities reduce air pollution.

– Adjusting planning guidance to protect air quality in local planning and development.

– Closing legal loopholes to end the practice of removing filter systems from existing vehicles.

– Institute a national public awareness campaign to increase understanding and encourage measures to reduce air pollution.

The full report can be viewed here.


STEP Conference De-Brief

A huge thank you to all the speakers, chairs, delegates and organisers who helped the STEP Annual Conference 2014 go so smoothly on Tuesday. Highlights included an update on the progress of the Low Emission Strategy for Scotland, and an excellent range of posters submitted as part of our poster competition.

The LES progress note issued to delegates, and PDF versions of posters submitted can be viewed here.

Presentations from the day are available via our Slideshare account here.



European Court of Justice due to rule on UK air pollution case

This Wednesday (19th November 2014), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will deliver its judgment in ClientEarth’s case against the UK Government over its failure to tackle air pollution.

ClientEarth, a member of the Healthy Air Campaign, took the UK Government to court for illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Last year, the UK Superme Court ruled that the Government was breaking the law by failing to ensure that legal limits of this pollutant were met.

Read More

UPDATE –  EU Court of Justice rules in favour of Client Earth: see here for more details.