Harrogate Bus Company gets new generation zero emission electric buses

Leeds Harrogate New Electric Buses and Transdev Staff Waving

Harrogate’s sparkling new electric buses are being prepared to carry their first customers in service in a matter of weeks.

The wraps came off the first of 19 new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400EV double deckers destined for The Harrogate Bus Company’s flagship route, The 36 linking Harrogate with Leeds and Ripon, revealing their stunning twin-deck red and black exterior and feature-packed, user-friendly interior for the first time.

A Mercedes-Benz eCitaro demonstration vehicle was also on show to give VIPs and families a preview of a further 20 all-new, zero emission electric single deck buses which will also usher in a new era of comfort and style on route 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough, the 7 between Harrogate, Wetherby and Leeds, and rural 24 route linking Harrogate with Pateley Bridge.

80 per cent of the components in both of these new buses are produced in the UK or in Europe – and Yorkshire-based company OGL Construction has installed charging facilities at our depot in Starbeck and at Harrogate Bus Station.

We needed a bus that is going to be robust for our more intensive services – most of our existing buses on route 36 are covering over 100,000 kilometres, or 62,100 miles, a year, with two million customer journeys per annum. These two bus designs are custom engineered to deliver a positive step change in performance across our most popular routes.

This new generation of buses has been three years in the making with a successful application for £7.8 million through ZEBRA, the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas fund, by our exceptional partner North Yorkshire Council, supporting our own investment to make this exciting project a reality.

Henri Rohard, Transdev Blazefield’s Managing Director

Chrildren dancing in front of Leeds Harrogate New Electric 3Buses

Externally, the new Enviro 400EV buses are packed with safety features, including digital electronic rear view cameras in place of the traditional mirrors, giving drivers a clearer view of potential hazards – while on the inside, a unique specification developed using Transdev’s extensive experience offers customers a level of luxury unlike anything else on Britain’s bus routes.

A glazed staircase leads to the upper deck featuring a two-plus-one seating layout, glazed roof panels to let in natural light and wireless mobile device charging, while on the lower deck, two dedicated wheelchair spaces and high-visibility flooring and lighting makes travel easier and safer for all.

Yorkshire disability rights campaigner Flick Williams was first to try the wheelchair spaces on the new 36 bus at the Harrogate launch.

I think it’s fabulous – lots of families with two wheelchair users can now travel together on the same bus, while the colour contrasted flooring will help visually impaired people to find their seat.

The backs of the seats are colour contrasted so it’s much easier for partially sighted people, and the glazed staircase makes the lower deck wheelchair space a much lighter and pleasanter place to be.

This bus company is showing that it takes accessibility seriously with these amazing new buses, and in how well it trains its drivers. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced an issue with a Transdev bus driver.

Flick Williams, Yorkshire disability rights campaigner

Final testing and driver familiarisation of the first electric double decker is now underway, with further double and single deck buses now in build to Transdev’s unique specifications. The bus operator expects to begin introducing its new Enviro 400EV zero emission buses to route 36 in September, with single deck eCitaro electric buses due to begin entering service at the same time.

The new buses will run alongside The Harrogate Bus Company’s existing fleet of eight Volvo 7900E electric single deck buses, introduced to three of its local routes within Harrogate in 2018.

How can we help you to move forward?