Harrogate Bus Co celebrates Clean Air Day, keeps carbon-cutting promise to plant 40 trees

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Transdev’s Harrogate Bus Company is marking Clean Air Day by planting trees.

The firm introduced its fleet of eight all-electric Harrogate Electrics Volvos 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 electric buses have together covered more than 400,000 miles – the equivalent of going around the world over 16 times. In March last year, the 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: “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 was 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.”

In addition, Transdev is trialling a new electric bus on its routes in the town. The BYD ADL single-decker is being trialled for seven days on the town’s route 1.