Record numbers on electric buses in Harrogate during Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Harrogate Bus Company is reporting a huge rise in passenger numbers of up to 60% at times during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee thanks to its free electric buses offer.

By Graham Chalmers
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:57 pm

The partnership between bus company and Harrogate BID to run the free service on certain routes for the four days of the royal weekend has been hailed a big success by the company's chief executive Alex Hornby.

Mr Hornby said: “These amazing numbers show how our partnership with Harrogate BID made a real and positive difference to the town’s economy, while helping to cut congestion and pollution on the streets.

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Right royal success - Celebrating the popularity of free electric bus travel are Harrogate Bus Company’s General Manager Steve Ottley; Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson; and Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman.

“After a challenging time for us all through the pandemic and given the financial challenges facing many families, we felt it was very important to do all we could to help everyone to travel on our Jubilee Freeway buses, straight to the heart of Harrogate’s own Platinum party."

Free travel was made available by Harrogate Bus Company for all journeys on the Harrogate Electrics town bus network throughout the four-day Jubilee holiday, on routes linking Bilton, Jennyfield and Pannal Ash with the town centre.

New data provided by the company shows the initiative attracted big rises in numbers choosing to leave the car at home and hop on a free electric bus instead.

The bus firm’s statistics reveal::

On the first day of the Jubilee holiday, Thursday 2 June, the Harrogate Electrics town bus network carried 25 per cent more customers than on the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday May 2.

On the second day of the extended Jubilee break, Friday 3 June, the numbers using Harrogate’s free electric buses rose even further, up by 51 per cent compared with the May Day Bank Holiday.

Day three of the Jubilee holiday, Saturday 4 June, saw customer numbers on the Harrogate Electrics free buses up by 60 per cent, compared with the average of the previous three Saturdays.

The final day of the Platinum Jubilee long weekend, Sunday 5 June, also saw numbers using the free buses up by 34 per cent, again when compared to the average of the previous three Saturdays.

Harrogate BID chair and business owner Sara Ferguson said: “We were delighted to be able to extend our successful partnership with The Harrogate Bus Company to sponsor free journeys on its Harrogate Electrics buses across all four days of the Platinum Jubilee holiday.

“From our previous experience of supporting free travel, we knew that the Harrogate Electrics buses play an important role in relieving traffic congestion and reducing emissions.

“Our shared aim for the Platinum Jubilee was to make it as easy and economical as possible for families across Harrogate to come and be part of the town’s programme of events, and these figures show that this joint venture was a very encouraging success."

It's not the first time Harrogate Bus Company has teamed up with Harrogate BID – the Business Improvement District set up in 2019 to bring local firms together and provide extra incentives to attract more people to shop local – to provide free rides all day on all of the spa town’s zero emission Harrogate Electrics buses.

But Harrogate Bus Company's chief executive Alex Hornby said he was keen to continue the push towards more environmentally-friendly electric-powered travel.

Mr Hornby said: “We hope to welcome more people back on board this summer after many switched to our electric buses over the Jubilee weekend, as we continue to prepare for the conversion of all our buses in Harrogate and beyond to electric power.”

The Harrogate Bus Company operates local bus routes in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Wetherby and Ripon as well further afield, linking the area with Leeds, York, Boroughbridge and Pateley Bridge.

Full information on all Harrogate Electrics zero emission bus routes is available online at: transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate and from the travel shop at Harrogate Bus Station.