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In 2008 and following from the declaration of Air Quality Management Areas across South Yorkshire the four local authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) under the auspices of the “Care 4 Air” initiative conceived the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme

Supported by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority and NHS Barnsley it was recognised that emissions from heavy duty vehicles had been identified as a significant contributor to N02 and PM10 concentrations

The concept was developed over several months, as it was felt that a scheme needed to tackle air pollution and the consequences for public health whilst positively engaging with the freight, bus and coach industry

The South Yorkshire ECO Stars scheme was the first of its kind in the UK and since its inception has grown considerably in membership, and has been adopted in other areas across the UK and Europe


The idea for ECO Stars was first conceived and the four South Yorkshire local authorities commissioned Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR) to develop the scheme


January – ECO Stars South Yorkshire was officially launched in Rotherham with Clipper Logistics being the first ECO Stars scheme member


October – Second scheme starts in Mid Devon funded by Defra


July – European Union funding secured for new schemes in Scotland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic, as well as part funding the original scheme in South Yorkshire

August – Launch of Scotland’s first scheme in Edinburgh, set up as part of the European ECOSTARS project


March – Gedling Borough Council launches third UK scheme, funded by Defra

October – Launch of pilot Taxi ECO Stars scheme in Mid Devon, funded by Defra, to trial and evaluate the application of ECO Stars to taxi and private hire vehicle operators


February – Thurrock ECO Stars launched as part of the “Travel Thurrock Smarter Choices” LSTF funded initiative, managed by the Thurrock Freight Quality Partnership

Launch of Falkirk scheme, the second in Scotland – funded through the Scottish Government’s Air Quality Grant

March –Launch of Nottingham urban area scheme, an expansion of Gedling ECO Stars –  part of the LSTF funded “The Big Wheel” programme

Launch of the City of York scheme, funded through Defra

April – South Yorkshire signs up its 50th member – B&Q, in partnership with their logistics provider DHL

September – South Yorkshire hosts a visit by officials from the DfT and Defra

November –Launch of North Lanarkshire ECO Stars scheme funded by the Scottish Government

December – Launch of Dundee ECO Stars scheme, also funded by the Scottish Government


January – ECO Stars marks five year anniversary since it was first launched with 75th member Airmaster and a presentation made by Dan Jarvis MP

March – Official launch of Warrington ECO Stars, funded through Defra

May – Official launch of Sefton ECO Stars – the first scheme to focus primarily on road haulage at a port – also funded by Defra

June – Scottish Government announces funding for three new ECO Stars schemes (Fife, Glasgow and South Lanarkshire) and the first Scottish ECO Stars Taxi scheme in Dundee

Edinburgh signs up 50th member – Edinburgh City Car Club’s service and support vehicles

Nottingham signs up 50th member – Nottingham Trent University

August – Thurrock ECO Stars signs up 50th member – Greenenergy Flexigrid tanker fleet

October – Fife scheme launches

December – Falkirk Taxi scheme launches


January –South Yorkshire celebrates its 100th member – NPS Barnsley – at an event in Barnsley.

February – South Lanarkshire scheme launched

March – Glasgow City scheme launched

March – Sutton and Croydon scheme launched

April – Staffordshire & Stoke scheme

December – Edinburgh celebrates it’s 100th member


January –Transport for Greater Manchester scheme – Pilot scheme launched.

March – Royal Borough of Greenwich scheme launched.

April – First video case study released – Scotland based company Radical Tours, comprising Highland Explorer Tours and Haggis Adventures.

June –Cornwall scheme launched.

June –ECO Stars receive Highly Commended Award under the Sustainability category at the CIHT Awards.

August –Glasgow signs up 5000th vehicle.

September –Fife Welcomes first electric taxi.

November –West Yorkshire scheme launched.

November –Aberdeen scheme launched.


February –East Lothian scheme launched

February – Harry Lawson becomes Dundee’s 100th member

March – ECO Friendly taxis joins Fife scheme – 100% EV fleet

May–Burnside Auto-centre upgraded from 1-2 star

June –Scottish Water upgraded to 5 star

October –Fife council upgrades to 5 star

November – New video case study identified – Viridor Waste Management, Bargeddie