Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


27 Jul 2020 by JOHN GELSON - Next Stop Communications


Nine out of ten commuters say they’re ready to return to bus travel after PM’s green light for public transport

Chamber Blog Image 1 Chamber Blog Image 1

We’re ready to come back to the bus – that’s the key message from a poll of almost 1,000 customers, including commuters, shoppers and leisure travellers.

North Yorkshire bus operator The Harrogate Bus Company carried out the research for its ‘Back to Bus’ survey alongside parent firm Transdev, gathering the views of 970 of its customers across the North.

The results show an overwhelming majority of those who responded – up to 97 per cent – say they will return to the bus now that travel restrictions have been eased. Of those polled:

  • 90 per cent say they will return to the bus to travel to work
  • 92 per cent are ready to take the bus for leisure
  • 97 per cent will travel by bus for shopping
  • 93 per cent will return to the bus for education

The research showed that the following numbers would return to the bus:

  • 92 per cent of all customers in Yorkshire
  • 95 per cent of customers over 65 and 93 per cent of under 20s

Responses to the survey also indicated wide recognition of The Harrogate Bus Company’s industry-leading ‘Clean, Safe and Ready to Go’ customer pledge, to provide the highest standards of cleanliness and safety on all its buses.

The survey results come after the Prime Minister declared an immediate return to the use of public transport, ahead of further relaxation of restrictions next month, including the end of the Government’s “work from home” advice.

The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “These results show that our customers believe what we have long been saying – our buses are clean, safe and ready to go. Following on from the Prime Minister’s declaration of an immediate return to public transport, which means people can now travel by bus for any reason, this survey shows people are now ready to return to the bus.

“With increased and thorough cleaning of each bus, clear safety guidance on board and a warm welcome from our amazing team, the time is right now to return to the bus. We’re also proud to be awarded VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard and confidence mark, demonstrating that all safe social distancing and cleanliness protocols are in place on every one of our buses.

“We also now offer flexible ticket bundles created to suit changing travel patterns, as part-time home working has risen in popularity, all on our Transdev Go app which shows live tracking of buses and how many seats are free on board.

“We’re now ready to help people travelling back to work, back to the shops, back to leisure and back to education, while also reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in our towns and cities. It’s time to come back to the bus.”

Almost one in five (18 per cent) of those polled say they travelled using conventional 7 or 28 day season tickets before the lockdown, but now they’re not suitable for their changed travel needs – while researchers also found a 35 per cent increase in those interested in The Harrogate Bus Company’s new flexible multi-buy ticket bundles of 5 or 10 day tickets as a value for money alternative.

The bus firm’s 12 journey bundle tickets have also grown in the same month by around 20 per cent – and while they remain a relatively small part of its business for now, their rising popularity is in line with The Harrogate Bus Company’s customer survey results on changing travel patterns.

Full details of all services operated by The Harrogate Bus Company, including travel advice and revised timetables currently in place, are available online at: https://www.transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate and on the free to download Transdev Go mobile app. Customers can also see at a glance how busy their bus is before travelling using the website or app.