Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


10 Apr 2019 by Ben Mansfield

Starbeck-based firm takes top Best Company trophy in Excellence in Business Awards

The team behind Harrogate’s ground-breaking electric buses is celebrating today after winning a major business award.

The Harrogate Bus Company was named as Best Large Company of the Year at the Harrogate Advertiser Excellence in Business Awards, held at The Pavilions of Harrogate events venue last night.

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The award is presented to the best company based in and around the spa town, which employs over 50 people. The winning team at The Harrogate Bus Company’s Starbeck headquarters includes 204 drivers, engineering and support teams, and head office staff.

BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration MBE, the voice behind the on-board customer announcements on The Harrogate Bus Company’s 36: Riding Redefined buses linking Harrogate with Leeds and Ripon, hosted the awards presentation.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s CEO Alex Hornby said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this prestigious award. It’s always great to be recognised within your industry, but to win this award amongst the thriving business community of Harrogate – a place packed with so many amazing brands and successful organisations – is something else!

“Every person in our Harrogate team contributes to our shared success, and our people are at the heart of everything we do. We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated and positive people with us –this award recognises their hard work to deliver the highest quality of service to our and customers.

“Our journey began with a clear business vision to create Britain’s first Low Emissions Bus Town here in Harrogate. Our pioneering Harrogate Electrics buses are now amongst the most reliable and popular buses in our fleet.

“We also pride ourselves as being a true local provider and work closely with local business partners – most recently with The Spirit of Harrogate, owners of Slingsby Gin, to provide free travel for everyone on our electric buses every Sunday. That’s great for local businesses across our town centre, and a significant boost for Harrogate’s economy.

“Our buses are leading the way in Harrogate, and I’m very proud of every single person in our team. Together, we’re thrilled to be creating a Harrogate success story.”

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 electric buses and supporting infrastructure.

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, Wi-Fi 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.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s win in the Harrogate Advertiser’s Excellence in Business Awards comes just months after it was named as the UK’s Small and Medium Bus Operator of the Year in the bus industry’s Route One Awards. The Starbeck-based firm’s Service Delivery Manger Andy Turnbull – who only joined as a graduate trainee in 2016 – was named as joint winner in the Rising Star category, which recognises the UK bus and coach industry’s brightest up and coming people.

Full details of all The Harrogate Bus Company’s services are available online at: http://www.harrogatebus.co.uk and from the information kiosk at Harrogate Bus Station. Its free-to-download “Transdev Go” smartphone app also provides instant access to bus times and bargain fare deals.