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
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:
- Welcome: Janice Milne, SEPA (STEP Chair)
- Keynote Speech: Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
- Video Address: Paul McAleavey, European Environment Agency
- Cleaner Air for Scotland: Andrew Taylor, Scottish Government
- National Modelling Framework for Scotland: Colin Gillespie, SEPA
- National Low Emission Framework for Scotland: Stephen Thomson, Transport Scotland
- Air Pollution and Health Impacts; Communicating the Evidence: Colin Ramsay, Health Protection Scotland
- Communicating CAFS: Stephen Thomson, Transport Scotland
- The role of RTPS in Supporting Local Authorities to Deliver CAFS: Alex Macaulay, SESTran
- A View from the Freight Industry: Allan Campbell, The Malcolm Group
- The Role of Planning in Air Quality Improvements: Nikola Miller, RTPI
- Perth Transport Futures Project; Linking Air Quality, Land Use and Transport Planning: Peter Marshall, Perth and Kinross Council
- Economic Benefits of Active Travel: Matt MacDonald, Sustrans
- Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT): Paul Kelly, University of Edinburgh
- Walking: Can Simple Steps Cut Emissions? Stuart Hay, Living Streets
- Delivering York’s 3d Air Quality Action Plan: Elizabeth Bates, York City Council
Consultation now open on new EPUK and IAQM guidance: “Land-Use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality” – February 16 2015 deadline.
STEP 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 email@example.com before the closing date of 16 February 2015.