Harrogate Bus Company delivers new eco-friendly scheme

The Harrogate Bus Company has pledged to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles covered by their new fleet of fume-free electric buses.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 2:59 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 3:03 pm
The first of 40 trees every year to be added to Harrogates woodlands by the towns leading bus operator, The Harrogate Bus Company, is planted in West Park, close to the town centre. Pictured are: Alex Hornby, CEO Transdev Blazefield, Carolyn Rothwell, Pinewoods Conservation Group, Terry Knowles, Harrogate Rotary, Keith Wilkinson, Bilton Conservation Group, and Jemima Parker, Zero Carbon Harrogate.

To kick-start this eco-commitment, the company has planted an oak tree on West Park, and an estimated 40 trees will be planted in woodland areas around Harrogate every year.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s CEO, Alex Hornby, said: “Our electric buses are helping to clear the air right across town - and when we introduced them in 2018, we promised to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles they cover.

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“It works out at around 40 trees per year, and now that our first tree is in place, we’ll be planting more in woodland areas around Bilton, Jennyfields and in the pine woods near Pannal Ash.

“The switch to electric buses is about making a long-term positive change to the environment. Alongside our amazing buses, our trees will help by absorbing even more carbon dioxide emissions – and everyone who travels with us can relax in the knowledge that every mile they travel is making Harrogate a greener place.”

The firm's idea has been welcomed by conservationists in Harrogate. Keith Wilkinson MBE, from the Bilton Conservation Group, said: “The Harrogate Bus Company’s pioneering move from diesel engines to low-emission electric buses is blazing a trail for a clean, green future.

“We welcome these tree planting initiatives in Nidd Gorge and the Pinewoods, which will absorb and lock up many tonnes of man-made carbon dioxide emissions for a lifetime.”

Neil Hind from the Pinewoods Conservation Group, said: “Our group is very pleased to see any initiative that reduces carbon emissions around the Pinewoods, and the introduction of these electric buses does just that.

“We look forward to being able to add these new trees to our current woodland, and to working with The Harrogate Bus Company on this exciting project which will benefit many areas of Harrogate.”

A joint investment of almost £4 million has brought eight of the new buses to the town, after The Harrogate Bus Company became the only bus firm in Yorkshire to win funding of £2.25 million from the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme.

All eight of the new vehicles are in service on three urban routes in Harrogate, making the town the first in the UK to introduce the new buses.