Harrogate bus boss confident 'more than 90% of passengers will return'

The boss of Harrogate Bus Company says he's confident passengers will return to buses as lockdown restrictions start to ease in Harrogate.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 8:26 am
Confident passengers will return - Harrogate Bus Company.

The Transdev Blazefield,-owned bus company has been committed throughout the pandemic crisis to keeping routes running in the town for key workers - despite dwindling passenger numbers since the Government introduced its 'Stay at Home' message towards the end of March.

Since then, the Harrogate Bus Company rescheduled its timetables built around shift times to reflect essential journeys only.

Now that more people are being encouraged to return to work with the prospect, too, of some shops reopening, Harrogate Bus Company's chief executive officer Alex Hornby said he was positive there would be a pick-up in numbers.

Mr Hornby said: "Our research of over 570 people shows that over 90% of our current customers will return to using the bus once lockdown eases and we very much look forward to welcoming them back on board.”

Harrogate Bus Company has also been taking new steps to reassure passengers that it is safe to travel.

Mr Hornby said: “We are employing the most heightened cleaning regime we have ever had, with our cleaning experts using stronger disinfectants and anti-viral fogging on every bus, every night, with regular cleans of buses at the bus station during the day.

"We are also increasing timetables so people can feel comfortable in spacing out on board. "

Mr Hornby said, as Harrogate's economy started to reopen in a safe manner, public transport would assume a new importance and the award-winning bus company expected to play a key role in this.

The company was also backing efforts by the troubled Harrogate Business improvement District (BID) to revive Harrogate town centre as part of the 'new normal.'

Mr Hornby said: “We are strong supporters of the work of Harrogate BID and completely share its aim to get more people enjoying our town centre.

"We are very keen to work together with the BID and strongly feel that an effective public transport network is integral to the success of our entire town centre offer, day and night, and for visitors and workers.

"It is, therefore, vital we should all share a message that our buses are clean and safe for people to use."

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