Bid to bring multi-million pound fleet of electric buses to Harrogate in battle against climate change
A plan to convert an entire Harrogate bus fleet to electric vehicles has taken a step forward following a bid to the Government of more than £8m to help finance the project.
North Yorkshire County Council are now working with The Harrogate Bus Company, part of Transdev, on the scheme that if successful, would see 39 zero-emission buses in Harrogate over the next three years.
In total the project would cost almost £20m, with £11.5m being invested by Transdev and would see 20 single-decker and 19 double-decker buses brought in, along with supporting charging infrastructure put in place.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access said: “We’re near the start of a competitive process and success is not guaranteed, but this action illustrates the scale of our ambition and commitment and, if successful, could provide a blueprint for other areas of North Yorkshire.”
“It would accelerate improvements in air quality, as zero emission vehicles produce no tail pipe emissions, bringing health benefits to residents and visitors.”
Following interest from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, the authority has been invited to submit a business case to help support its bid for funds.
The routes would include the high-profiled 36 from Ripon through Harrogate to Leeds, which has seen customer growth of more than 21 per cent over the past few years alone.
Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev said: “We have already created a low-emission bus fleet in Harrogate thanks to the huge investment we have made in the past few years in the most advanced buses available for our customers.”
“We hope this bid - alongside our significant further multi-million pound investment - will lead to the next exciting step of our vision to create a completely zero-emission bus network, powered by a fully-electric fleet.”
“With our partners at North Yorkshire County Council, we aim to create further improvements in infrastructure to deliver even better, quicker and more reliable journeys by bus.”
All buses would provide passengers with next stop announcements, USB power and free Wi-Fi throughout.
The bid must be submitted by the end of January 2022, with a decision from the Department for Transport expected by March 2022.