11 months ago
Our Harrogate Electrics buses set the pace as the UK moves towards cleaner and greener travel.
The Harrogate Bus Company became the first operator in the UK to create a fully electric bus network in 2018, after we became the only operator in Yorkshire to win funding support worth £2.25 million from the Government to enable Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town.
The 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 on the town’s network.
Our 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.
The buses are powered by a revolutionary ‘opportunity charging’ system, with power collected from an overhead charging point at Harrogate Bus Station using a pantograph fitted to the roof of each bus. This supplements overnight charging at our depot in Starbeck, to ensure each Harrogate Electrics bus can efficiently and reliably power its way through a full day.
In 2018 and 2019 we established new partnerships with Harrogate’s business community to sponsorship free travel on Sundays on our Harrogate Electrics buses. ‘Sunday Freeway’ proved hugely popular, with a 70 per cent rise in customer journeys – providing a welcome boost to the town’s locally owned shops, restaurants and cafes.
We also marked our commitment to further reducing carbon emissions by planting 40 trees in Harrogate – one for every 10,000 miles covered by our electric buses, beginning with an oak tree at West Park, close to the town centre.
We feel that providing electric buses isn’t enough in itself to achieve growth. The package of the offer, just as we’ve described, has enabled the 10 per cent overall increase in customer numbers - and is capped by a reminder of the importance of a sustainable future. Each of our eight Harrogate Electrics buses is named after the eight local primary schools they serve in Harrogate. This gives the bus the relevance it needs for our important customers of tomorrow.