They’re a sparkling first for Harrogate – and now the spa town’s amazing all-electric buses are to offer free travel every Sunday in March.
Bus operator The Harrogate Bus Company is hoping its eye-catching deal will help to persuade more residents to support the town’s locally-owned shops and restaurants on Sundays – while at the same time, encouraging locals to leave their cars at home and give the futuristic new buses a try.
A joint investment of almost £4 million has brought eight of the new buses to the town, after operator 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 now in service on the three local routes in Harrogate, making the town the first in the UK to have its complete local network run with zero emission buses.
The Harrogate Bus Company’s CEO Alex Hornby said: “We’re very proud to be bringing our vision to life in creating Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town right here in Harrogate.
“March usually sees the weather getting better and the nights are lighter, and we hope that by offering free Sunday travel on our all-electric buses, we can encourage more residents to shop and dine locally in our wonderful town – and at the same time, we can show them how great our new electric buses really are.
“Free travel will be available every Sunday in March on the network of town services we run with our electric buses – services 2A and 2B from Bilton, service 3 from Jennyfield and service 6 from Pannal Ash. We’ve deliberately kept things simple, so there are no vouchers or tokens to collect – all people do is just hop on board the bus, take a seat and enjoy the journey.
“It’s the ideal time to leave the car at home and take the bus into town instead, and with free travel on offer every Sunday in March, it’s a great incentive to come on board with us and find out why our all-electric buses are attracting so much positive interest, not just in Harrogate but all around the country.”
The new buses have been designed to a bespoke specification, packed with customer-friendly features including ‘countdown to departure’ destination displays, audio-visual next stop announcements, USB at-seat power points, WiFi and wireless mobile device charging.
Each of the new buses is named after a local school in Harrogate, as The Harrogate Bus Company celebrates decades of proud service to the local community, dating back 112 years to 1906 when its predecessors’ buses first took to the town’s streets between Bilton and Harrogate.
The Harrogate Bus Company was one of only 13 organisations across the country, and the only one in Yorkshire, to bid successfully for finance from the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme, securing £2.25 million towards the cost of the new buses and supporting infrastructure.
Full information on services provided by The Harrogate Bus Company is available online at: http://www.harrogatebus.co.uk and via the free-to-download “Transdev Go” smartphone app. Timetable guides for the electric buses are also available from the information kiosk at Harrogate bus station.