The councils of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, alongside regional transport partnership Nestrans, are working with local commercial vehicle fleets to improve air quality.

A new Eco Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme has been created for the region to encourage and support operators of HGVs, vans, buses and coaches to make their operations more efficient and drive down harmful emissions.

Membership of the scheme is free to all operators and includes an initial assessment and star rating of a fleet based on current performance, as well as personalised recommendations to help cut emissions while also reducing operating costs.

The new scheme was launched at the Town House, Aberdeen last month (pictured), with award presentations to inaugural members which included, DHL, Hargreaves Logistics, John G Russell and William Walker Transport among others.

Both councils’ fleets are leading by example and were among the first applicants to the scheme.

Councillor Ross Grant, spokesman for transport and regeneration at Aberdeen City Council, said: “Participation in the Eco Stars scheme will help the city with its target of reducing carbon emissions by 31% and compliance with national nitrogen dioxide and particulate air quality objectives by 2020.”

Mark Cavers, Eco Stars Scotland manager, from consultancy TRL, which manage Eco Stars on behalf of local authorities said: “The Aberdeen City and Shire scheme means that all four main cities in Scotland have now joined the Eco Stars network and are working with their commercial fleet operators to improve air quality across Scotland.”

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.

Eco Stars now has 24 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.