Minister praises snow efforts of Harrogate Bus Company during visit and highlights success of £2 price cap
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The remarks by Buses Minister Richard Holden came during an ‘access-all-areas’ tour behind the scenes at bus operator – seeing for himself how hard work behind the scenes kept the town on the move following recent heavy snowfalls.
Mr Holden, who was accompanied by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, visited Transdev’s Academy training centre at Starbeck before hopping on a Harrogate Electrics bus to the town’s bus station to meet staff and visit their recently upgraded welfare facilities.
The Minister was welcomed to the bus operator’s headquarters by Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti, Training Manager Dale French and Commercial Manager Matt Burley.
Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti said: “The Buses Minister saw for himself the lengths we go to during wintry weather to keep our buses on the road serving our customers.
“The Minister was also impressed to learn of the success of our Government-supported £2 Price Drop, which has helped us to attract record numbers of motorists to leave their car keys at home and choose the bus instead."
Transdev, the parent company of Harrogate Bus Company, said a bus revival meant fare-paying customer numbers were now at 96 per cent of 2019 levels.
On Friday, February 3, the firm saw its busiest day ever, with 131,000 customers travelling on its network on just one day.
Harrogate Bus Company has seen numbers travelling on The 36 linking Harrogate with Leeds and Ripon rise by 11 per cent.
Buses Minister Richard Holden said: “Having invested more than £2 billion to support bus services since the pandemic, it’s fantastic to see so many people using the bus here in Harrogate.
“We will continue to work hard with local authorities and operators like The Harrogate Bus Company to get even more people to hop back onto the bus.”
During his visit, The Minister was briefed on progress in a jointly-funded programme which will see the bus operator’s entire fleet based in Harrogate replaced by new zero emission electric vehicles.