However, in order for the bus to truly reach its full potential and for the benefit of all of us in Harrogate (and beyond), we need to consider how it can fit into the city and the borough in general, and all it has to offer.
During recovery, this is even more relevant.
While we will continue to research how best to be part of an integrated travel package alongside our neighboring railroad, we also want to complement rather than compete with other ‘active travel’ modes such as cycling and even scooters. I would like to see more bicycle parking at stops and car parking at stops as well (as well as a park and ride, of course).
This way, leaving the car at home (although every now and then) or not driving it into town and adding to the congestion becomes a very doable option.
We are always encouraged that research on 36 users shows that 55% of people have access to a car but choose to use the bus.
As evidenced by our brand – The Harrogate Bus Company – we remain committed to supporting our city, its people and the great things that happen there.
Our “£ 1 after 7pm” rate offer remains in effect, just in time for the launch of the first Harrogate Beer Week. You have no excuse to support Harrogate’s fantastic craft beer and pub offering – and fabulous Rachel Auty’s vision to give the local industry a boost just when it needs it.
I have also just recovered from a whirlwind meeting with Sharon Canavar of Harrogate International Festivals, a fabulous and well-established company that does so much to preserve and promote the arts and culture of Harrogate.
We have exciting ideas in store to bring the two organizations together, not only for a top-notch activity, but also to provide literacy and education resources for colleagues behind the scenes.
Car Free Friday – led by Jemima Parker and Zero Carbon Harrogate – is another proud Harrogate initiative that we support, and I am proud to serve on the Climate Change Coalition Council, especially as we prepare for the festival. Harrogate Climate Action and other environmental events in October. .
All of this supports our upcoming proposals to fully convert our fleet to zero-emission electricity in the years to come.
And that’s not to mention the schools, colleges and employers we serve, and communicate with almost daily, to provide the best possible service to help people get to where they need to be.
But it is our inhabitants who integrate us best into the city. We know that it is often our drivers and our teams at the bus station who give the true face of the company.
During the pandemic, they worked and were the ultimate officials. For some, they may be the only person a customer can engage with throughout the day.
This is why we are more than a bus company and why we truly appreciate being part of a city that we are so proud to serve.