They’ve placed Harrogate firmly on the map as a UK trendsetter in green travel – and now The Harrogate Bus Company is marking the nation’s Clean Air Day by digging deep for a tree-mendous celebration of its amazing all-electric buses!
The bus firm became the first in the country to introduce the fume-free Harrogate Electrics buses in 2018, after it became the only operator in Yorkshire to win funding of £2.25 million from the Government to create Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town.
Its eight sparkling red Harrogate Electrics buses have since become a familiar sight on the town’s streets, proving popular for their swift, clean and comfortable service – and as the UK prepares to celebrate Clean Air Day on Thursday (8 October 2020), The Harrogate Bus Company today reveals its electric buses have together covered more than 400,000 miles – the equivalent of going around the world over 16 times.
In March of last year, the bus operator marked its commitment to cutting carbon emissions further by promising to plant a tree in Harrogate for every 10,000 miles covered by its electric buses, beginning with an oak tree at West Park, close to the town centre. It now plans to fulfil its promise by planting 39 more trees in three areas served by its Harrogate Electrics buses, including in the Nidd Gorge close to Bilton, at Jennyfield and in the pine woods near Pannal Ash.
The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “Our electric buses help clear the air in our town, and when we introduced them two years ago, we promised to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles they cover. Since then, these amazing buses have clocked up over 400,000 miles, and so we’ll keep our promise by planting 40 trees for Harrogate.
“The town’s switch to electric buses is all about making a longer-term positive change to the way we travel. Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK, so our Harrogate Electrics buses play a vitally important role in clearing the air and protecting our local environment, now and into the future.
“Alongside our electric buses, trees help by absorbing even more carbon dioxide emissions. With our planting of 40 trees, our customers can rest assured that every time they travel on our electric buses, they’re helping to make Harrogate a greener place.”
The Harrogate Bus Company’s commitment to a cleaner town is being welcomed by Zero environment campaign group Zero Carbon Harrogate. The group’s Chair, Jemima Parker, said: “We are dedicated to making Harrogate a zero-carbon community by 2030 to secure a sustainable future, and The Harrogate Bus Company’s electric buses are making a vitally important contribution towards realising that ambition.
“As we begin rebuilding our local economy beyond the pandemic, we can’t just go back to congested streets and traffic jams. We can make our town a better place by choosing to use these excellent electric buses instead of driving, which simply fuels pollution.
“The Harrogate Bus Company has shown a clear commitment to the town’s zero carbon future, firstly with its electric buses and now by keeping its promise to plant 40 trees across our town. It’s a great example of a sustainable and successful business which places a high value on protecting the environment in Harrogate.”
The ground-breaking Harrogate Electrics buses are designed to a bespoke specification. Each bus is 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 eight Harrogate Electrics buses is named after a local school in Harrogate, to mark 114 years of proud service dating back to 1906 when buses run by The Harrogate Bus Company’s predecessors first took to the town’s streets.
Full information on Harrogate Electrics bus services 2A, 2B, 3 and 6, and all routes run by The Harrogate Bus Company, are available online at: https://www.transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate and on the free to download Transdev Go mobile app.