Three all new buses worth a further £0.8 million will be added to the company’s existing fleet of luxury twin-deck buses on the 36 route running between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds.
The increase in frequency to provide a bus every 10 minutes between Harrogate and Leeds will begin with the launch of a new timetable on Sunday 29 October 2017.
The bus firm’s Chief Executive Alex Hornby unveiled the good news to members of the Harrogate Chamber of Commerce at a meeting in the spa town this week, reflecting the importance of the service to Harrogate’s thriving economy.
Over 70 business leaders representing Harrogate’s business community warmly welcomed details of the bus operator’s investment to boost services on the critically important and busiest section of the route between Harrogate and Leeds, to be delivered as part of its five-year vision to transform Harrogate into a UK leader in clean and green public transport.
News of the booming bus route’s expansion comes at a time when rail services to and from Harrogate have been repeatedly disrupted by industrial action – which has seen more passengers joining the many who have already switched from train to bus, attracted by the premium quality and affordable fares combination offered by the 36.
The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “We’re delighted to be able to increase the frequency of service on the most popular section of our premium 36: Riding Redefined service between Harrogate and Leeds.
“When we launched our amazing new buses onto the route in 2016, we hoped they would be popular – but even we’ve been surprised and delighted by the positive reaction from passengers. They love the bespoke design of the buses, which come packed with passenger-friendly features.
“We’re also immensely proud of our hand-picked dedicated team of drivers, who welcome thousands of people onto the 36 every week. Their success in building such a positive relationship with customers old and new make the service the huge success it undoubtedly is.
“Expanding the service to run every 10 minutes between Harrogate and Leeds is the logical next step for us, creating a ‘turn up and go’ service on this busy section of the route. Our customers are already giving the 36 top marks for quality – now we’ll give it a ten!”
The eye-catching twin-deck vehicles on the 36: Riding Redefined service provide First Class travel at highly competitive prices on one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing bus routes.
Each of the impressive buses offers a host of customer-friendly features in a designer interior specially created for the 36 service, including:
· Luxury leather seating on the upper deck in a bespoke designed layout, combining the personal space of a car journey with the relaxing ambience of a premium coach
· Fast and free 4G Wi-Fi
· USB power points at every seat
· Skylight roof windows to let in natural light in daytime, and to make the most of Yorkshire’s starry skies at night
· LED mood lighting to create a relaxed and comfortable ambience
· Audio-visual information screens, highlighting key points on the journey, featuring announcements provided by Yorkshire’s favourite television news presenter, BBC Look North’s Harry Gration
· On the lower deck, quilted leather seating and a chill-out area, with a workspace for the rear seats – creating a mobile office environment for commuters
· ‘Library 36’ offering a selection of books for regular travellers to bring, take, swap and enjoy
· Environment-friendly engines providing the perfect blend of performance and reliability in a design that’s more robust yet lighter than conventional buses
· The world’s most fuel-efficient diesel buses – better for Yorkshire and the planet
Dedicated buses on the 36: Riding Redefined service feature a unique and stylish black, red and silver livery created especially for the route by the transport industry’s leading designer, Ray Stenning of Best Impressions.
The Harrogate Bus Company has also adopted a pioneering pricing plan to promote its 36 bus service and attract more new passengers, including:
· Great value day, weekly, monthly and annual tickets which reward customers’ loyalty with amazing value for money
· A hugely popular ‘Gold’ range of season tickets which offer unlimited travel, not only on the 36 but also on all Transdev buses across a huge area of Northern England, from Manchester and Preston to the Yorkshire Coast, with a monthly ‘Gold’ pass costing a third less than a monthly Standard Class rail season ticket valid only between Harrogate and Leeds
· A £1 add-on fare to travel on connecting First buses to and from popular destinations beyond Leeds city centre, including the University, Royal Armouries, Elland Road for Leeds United FC or the White Rose Shopping Centre
· Contactless payment, including Apple Pay and Android Pay, to make travel easier as well as more affordable.
Full details of times, fares and special offers are available on the route’s own dedicated website, http://www.the36.co.uk.