The first fleet of zero emission buses to put Harrogate on the transport map

Employees of the Harrogate bus company with zero emission bus, model imported from Gothemburg as part of a show case event
Employees of the Harrogate bus company with zero emission bus, model imported from Gothemburg as part of a show case event

A new generation of electric buses are to be rolled out as part of plans to transform Harrogate into a low emission town.

Transport operator Transdev has invested more than £4m into eight zero emission Volvo buses and supporting infrastructure to service the Bilton, Jennyfield and Pannal Ash routes by next year.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby

The local network, operated locally by the Harrogate Bus Company, is to receive further upgrades over the next five years.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “We know how important this is for people getting increasingly concerned about the environment.

“People across the borough have concerns and this scheme is just one element.

“We want to do more and serve the town and become a powerful contributor to the local economy.

“The fleet is the first its kind in the country and I think this will make us viewed as a world wide centre of excellence and put Harrogate on the map.”

Securing £2.25m through the national Low Emission Bus Scheme Transdev also invested an additional £1.9m for the new fleet.

Charging points will also be installed at Harrogate Bus Station and depot as part of plans.

Upgrades to the route one services, covering Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough will also be made, totalling £250,000.

Buses on the line will be equipped with emission reducing technology, free wifi, departure destination screens and USB power ports.

Mr Hornby said: “10 buses will be updated and this will reduce their emissions by 96 percent, and this is great considering the concerns that have been raised over air quality.

“It is a real change from the kind of vehicles we currently use in the borough.”

The upgrades were originally featured on the company’s flagship 36 Riding Redefined service that linked Harrogate with Leeds and Rippon.

Plans are also in place to spread these across the rest of the town’s buses.

Work to upgrade bus routes is expected by Transdev to also help address congestion in the local area.

Mr Hornby said: “We are not just aiming at current users and are trying to get more people to make use of the service.

“This would also mean not clogging up the town centre, particularly during events that take place and have an impact on the roads.

“All the elements are coming into place to make Harrogate a world class leader.”