Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


4 Mar 2019 by Matt Harrison


Bus firm digs deep as amazing all-electric vehicles bring a breath of fresh air to spa town’s streets

The first of 40 trees every year to be added to Harrogate’s woodlands by the town’s leading bus operator, The Harrogate Bus Company, is planted in West Park, close to the town centre.

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They’re the sparkling success that’s turning heads in Harrogate, putting the spa town firmly on the map as a UK green travel trendsetter – and now The Harrogate Bus Company is celebrating its futuristic all-electric buses by branching out into the spa town’s beautiful woodlands!

A key benefit of the new Harrogate Electrics buses is their fume-free operation, leading to significant reductions in emissions on the town’s streets – and now the bus company has planted an oak tree on West Park as it looks to make the town an even greener place.

The bus operator is planning to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles covered by its electric buses – meaning an impressive 40 trees will be planted in woodland areas around Harrogate every year.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s CEO Alex Hornby said: “Our electric buses are helping to clear the air right across town – and when we introduced them in 2018, we promised to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles they cover.

“It works out at around 40 trees per year, and now that our first tree is in place, we’ll be planting more in woodland areas around Bilton, Jennyfield and in the pine woods near Pannal Ash.

“The switch to electric buses is about making a long-term positive change to the environment. Alongside our amazing buses, our trees will help by absorbing even more carbon dioxide emissions – and everyone who travels with us can relax in the knowledge that every mile they travel is making Harrogate a greener place.”

The bus firm’s tree-mendous idea is being welcomed by conservationists in Harrogate. Keith Wilkinson MBE from the Bilton Conservation Group said: “The Harrogate Bus Company’s pioneering move from diesel engines to low-emission electric buses is blazing a trail for a clean, green future.

“We welcome these tree planting initiatives in Nidd Gorge and the Pinewoods, which will absorb and lock up many tonnes of man-made carbon dioxide emissions for a lifetime.”

Neil Hind from the Pinewoods Conservation Group said: “Our Group is very pleased to see any initiative that reduces carbon emissions around the Pinewoods, and the introduction of these electric buses does just that.

“We look forward to being able to add these new trees to our current woodland, and to working with The Harrogate Bus Company on this exciting project which will benefit many areas of Harrogate.”

A joint investment of almost £4 million has brought eight of the new buses to the town, after 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 in service on three urban routes in Harrogate, making the town the first in the UK to introduce the amazing new buses.

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.