Using the funding from the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme, Transdev’s local subsidiary The Harrogate Bus Company will introduce eight 100% electric powered new buses, and install charging points at key locations to keep them on the move.
The new vehicles are expected to enter service in early 2018 on routes serving the Bilton, Jennyfield and Pannal Ash areas of Harrogate.
Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: "I’m delighted and immensely proud that we’re one of only 13 organisations to secure funding this year under the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme.
"The aim of our innovative bid was to attract funding that will take electric buses to the next level in the UK, and the contribution will allow us to introduce the next generation of electric buses to Britain and our home town of Harrogate. It’s a further sign of our determination to set new standards for bus travel and is great news for our passengers."
Transdev is the only commercial bus operator in Yorkshire to secure direct funding for new vehicles under this year’s Low Emission Bus Scheme.
The funding announced today will cover up to 90% of the difference in cost between a new electric bus and its diesel-powered equivalent, as well as up to 75% of the cost of supporting infrastructure.
Transport Minister and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones said: "This is positive news for our area and for the quality of life of local people. Harrogate is set to become a low emission bus town. Transdev have shown huge ambition: the technology for this is a first for the UK.
"Improving air quality and cutting carbon emissions are transport priorities for the Government. But they are more than that. They are a priority for local people who want our air to be clean and our environment improved. That is why this news is so significant, because it will deliver those goals for local people.
"There were many bids from large organisations for this cash. It is a testament to the powerful case put forward by Transdev, and supported by Harrogate Borough Council, that we have won £2.25m of that cash. The Harrogate bid was a winner competing with those big cities, such as Sheffield, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Birmingham."
The new buses for The Harrogate Bus Company will help it to build on the hugely successful relaunch of its flagship inter-urban route, the 36, which links the town with Leeds and Ripon.
Under the brand ‘Riding. Redefined’, a £3.3 million investment in 14 top-of-the-range twin deck vehicles has transformed journeys for thousands of passengers, offering an impressive range of features including free superfast 4G Wi-Fi, USB power points at every seat, plush leather coach seats upstairs, and personal tables with quilted leather seating and a chill-out area on the lower deck.
The Harrogate Bus Company is also celebrating a heritage which dates back to 1906 with a special 110th birthday party at its headquarters in Starbeck, between Harrogate and Knaresborough, on Sunday 7 August 2016 Full information on The Harrogate Bus Company’s services is available online at: http://www.harrogatebus.co.uk.