Bus services 'committed' to keeping Harrogate's key workers on the move

The boss of The Harrogate Bus Company has said it is committed to keeping routes running for key workers - despite dwindling passenger numbers now the nation has been put into lockdown.

Alex Hornby, chief executive of parent company Transdev, this week introduced an emergency timetable as the transport firm shifted its focus to the district's crucial front-line staff needed during the coronavirus crisis - as well as school children and supermarket shoppers.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: “As you can expect, very few people are travelling compared to normal. Our customer numbers and revenue are therefore down significantly.

"However, we are 100 per cent committed to carry on and doing our bit to support those who really need us for their travels, with timetables that reflect essential journeys only and built around shift times."

The Harrogate Bus Company said it is committed to keeping routes running for key workers.

The Harrogate Bus Company is now running to a Saturday timetable on most of its services from Monday to Saturday, and normal Sunday timetables on Sundays.

Mr Hornby added: "We’re so proud of everyone here who is helping deliver an essential service for our key workers. Both our drivers and front-line teams, along with those behind the scenes, have been remarkable and deserve all our thanks for coming to work as usual to help keep key workers across Harrogate on the move.

“We are welcoming feedback from key workers to ensure our timetable is built around them. Full details are available, alongside times and info, at harrogatebus.co.uk”

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire County Council has made changes to its National Concessionary Travel Scheme so pass holders can use services before 9am. Usually, passes cannot be used between 6am and 9am.

Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for access said: "The purpose of the decision is to enable older residents, those who are disabled and their carers, to use their passes for essential journeys and to take advantage of measures like exclusive early morning shopping opportunities being put in place to support them.

“We expect a positive response from bus operators. We’re also aware that they, like many businesses, are facing difficult times, so this may go some way towards supporting them.”

More information on North Yorkshire County Council services can be found on www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-service-disruption

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter