Harrogate Bus Company wins Environment Award

Team Electric: (front, l to r) Simon Bolland, general manager Alan French, Mark Wilkinson; (back, l to r) Frank Paul, Andy Senior, Andrew Turnbull, Chris Long.
Team Electric: (front, l to r) Simon Bolland, general manager Alan French, Mark Wilkinson; (back, l to r) Frank Paul, Andy Senior, Andrew Turnbull, Chris Long.

The team behind Harrogate’s pioneering electric bus fleet is celebrating after winning the prestigious Environment Award at the UK Better Society Awards.

The Harrogate Bus Company fended off stiff competition to win at the ceremony in London, where fellow winners included Deutsche Bank, ITV, Morrisons, Deloitte and Warner Bros Entertainment.

The firm introduced the electric buses to three local routes in the district as a key part of its project to turn Harrogate into the UK’s first low-emissions bus town.

CEO Alex Hornby said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the company and the team have been recognised for this industry leading project. This award only serves to endorse the success and prominence that the Harrogate Electrics have achieved.

“Our Harrogate Electrics buses have already gained positive recognition within the transport industry, but to win such a prestigious award against strong competition from some of the biggest companies in Europe is truly amazing.”

The Harrogate Bus Company was one of only 13 organisations across the country, and the only one in Yorkshire, to bid successfully for finance from the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme, securing £2.25m towards the cost of the new electric buses and supporting infrastructure.

The buses have been designed to a bespoke specification, and feature ‘countdown to departure’ destination displays, audio-visual next-stop announcements, USB power points, wifi and wireless mobile device charging.

The Harrogate Electrics buses are free for everyone to use on Sundays, thanks to a unique partnership with The Spirit of Harrogate, which owns the Slingsby Gin brand.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s win in the UK Better Society Awards comes only a month after it was named Best Large Company of the Year in the Harrogate Advertiser’s Excellence in Business Awards.

The firm was also named as the UK’s Small and Medium Bus Operator of the Year in the bus industry’s Route One Awards.