Arriva Yorkshire has become the first bus operator in England to secure a five-star EcoStars rating after signing up to City of York Council’s EcoStars fleet recognition scheme.
Arriva signed its 15 vehicles operating in York to the EU-backed scheme. This means that 45 operators (PCV and HGV) are now part of the York scheme, with nearly 3,000 vehicles signed up and assessed.
The EcoStars (Efficient and Cleaner Operations) Fleet Recognition Scheme helps operators gain recognition for their commitment to improving efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and emissions â€“ all helping to improve local air quality.
How clean are you?
The scheme awards each member a star rating based on an assessment of how ‘clean’ their fleet is and how they demonstrate good practice in key areas of:
- Fuel management
- Developing driver skills
- Vehicle specification and maintenance
- Use of IT support systems
- Fleet performance monitoring.
The EcoStars scheme rates vehicles and operating practices using simple star rating criteria, to recognise environmental levels and energy savings performance. Operators then receive tailor-made support to ensure the fleet is running as efficiently and economically as possible, to help them progress to higher ratings within the scheme.
Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Planning and Sustainability, says: â€œWe are striving to improve air quality in York. The EcoStars scheme is one of the ways in which we are doing this. It can also help businesses to make real savings as costs can be lowered by up to 2,300 per vehicle by cutting fuel consumption.â€
Arriva Yorkshire Regional MD Nigel Featham says: â€œWe are delighted to be involved with the EcoStar initiative, and are extremely proud to have been awarded five stars.â€
Morag White, EcoStars Fleet Consultant says: â€œThe EcoStars team is really impressed with the quality of Arriva’s vehicles, together with its sound environmental and fuel management procedures.
â€œA five-star rating for a bus operator is a real accolade â€“ among the first to be awarded since EcoStars began in 2009.â€
The EcoStars Fleet Recognition Scheme was developed for the South Yorkshire Transport Plan Air Quality Steering Group, and launched in 2009, as part of a regional Air Quality Initiative.
The project then became co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the EU, and now runs in 20 locations around Europe with 315 member operators running 25,000 vehicles.
Councils lead the schemes and UK participants are: Edinburgh, Falkirk, Mid-Devon, Nottingham, South Yorkshire, Thurrock and York. The UK projects are co-ordinated by consultancy Transport & Travel Research.
Reasons to join
Any operator can join a scheme in their area. Fleets must be either based in the area covered by the scheme, or have a significant number of vehicles operating within it.
Operators receive free advice on how operational efficiency can be improved, benefiting from reduced fuel use. They also benefit from recognition for exhibiting best practice in fleet management with an increased profile of being environmentally responsible.