Staffordshire and Stoke councils launch joint air quality scheme for fleet operators

A consortium of eight Staffordshire councils has launched a new ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme in a bid to improve air quality on local roads.

The free-to-join ECO Stars scheme encourages and supports operators of HGVs, vans, buses and coaches to run their fleets more efficiently, reducing both costs and vehicle emissions.

A star rating is given to operators upon joining based on performance, and a ‘roadmap’ of recommendations is provided to drive further fleet efficiency in their operations.

The first fleet operators to sign up to the Staffordshire and Stoke scheme included council fleets from East Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme and operators Boots UK, DHL, JD Commercial, Nisa, Sainsbury’s and Stan Robinson.

Councillor Jacqui Jones, deputy leader for regulatory services, from East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “ECO Stars is an excellent example of partnership working – working together for the benefit of the community in terms of the environment, as well as helping our local businesses use their fleets as cleanly and efficiently as possible.”

Ann Beddoes, ECO Stars scheme manager, from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “We hope that Staffordshire’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.”

ECO Stars was originally set up in South Yorkshire in 2009, when local councils wanted to tackle local air quality issues caused by transport, and now comprises 21 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.

This latest scheme follows suit from Greater Manchester, which launched its own earlier this month.