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

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”.

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