East Lothian Council and local commercial fleet operators are working together on a new Eco Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme.

It is hoped it will improve air quality and help combat air pollution in the region.

Upon joining, operators of HGVs, vans, buses and coaches are assessed and awarded a star rating based on their performance.

A roadmap of recommendations, which will help operators to reduce vehicle emissions and operating costs, is then produced.

East Lothian Council councillor Norman Hampshire said the local authority had a statutory duty to monitor air quality for a number of pollutants, many attributed to road transport.

He said: “The council is obliged to prepare an Air Quality Action Plan, which outlines the measures it intends to take to reduce pollutant concentrations. One of the fundamental measures in the action plan is the adoption of Eco Stars.

“Not only is it hoped that participation in the scheme will raise awareness of the effect of vehicle emissions upon the environment and health, but it will also encourage and help fleet operators to run their vehicles in an efficient and green way.”

The Eco Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme was originally set up in South Yorkshire in 2009 and has 25 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.

Consultancy TRL manages the scheme on behalf of local authorities.

This latest scheme is the ninth to be launched in Scotland.

Inaugural members of the East Lothian scheme (pictured at the launch) include DHL/NISA, Eagle Couriers and Menzies Distribution.