Five West Yorkshire councils are working together with local commercial fleet operators as part of a scheme to improve air quality on local roads.
The consortium of five councils – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – launched the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme in Leeds this week (15 November).
ECO Stars is a free, voluntary scheme that provides recognition and guidance on operational best practice to operators of goods vehicles, buses, coaches and commercial vehicle fleets. This includes helping operators improve their efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions and make cost savings.
The scheme is being delivered by transport consultants TRL, on behalf of West Yorkshire’s five local authorities.
The first fleet operators to sign up to the scheme included council fleets from Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, Bradford and Leeds Teaching Hospitals; bus operators Arriva, First Group and Transdev; and commercial fleet operators the Co-operative Group, JG Pears and DHL.
Cllr Keith Wakefield, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, presented the scheme members with certificates recognising their initial star ratings.
Cllr Wakefield said: “Our City Region is key to the North’s and the nation’s success and West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners are committed to unlocking the Leeds City Region’s full economic potential and make it the low-carbon ‘growth engine’ for the North.
“ECO Stars work has an important role to play in helping us to achieve our aims, which include a Low Emission Strategy and a Clean Air Zone for Leeds and a modern bus fleet that has a positive impact on health and environment with all vehicles meet at the latest environmental standard.
“We look forward to working with ECO Stars and our transport industry partners to achieve these ambitious targets.â€?
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 23 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.
Ann Beddoes, ECO Stars schemes manager, from Barnsley metropolitan borough council, said: “I am delighted that West Yorkshire have joined the ECO Stars network and wish them every success in their drive to reduce air pollution.
“We hope that West Yorkshire’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.â€?