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Harrogate Council secures £237,000 for greener buses in the district

Buses between Harrogate and Knaresborough are set to become cleaner and greener after Harrogate Borough Council secured £237,000 of funding from the Department of Transport’s Clean Bus Technology Fund.

The most recent round of the Clean Bus Technology Fund was launched in September 2015 to help local authorities retrofit buses with equipment that will reduce NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions and improve air quality.

After gauging interest, Harrogate Borough Council partnered with local bus company, Transdev, to develop the successful bid. The funds will be used to pay for modifications to ten buses that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by at least 50%.

The vehicles will operate between Harrogate and Knaresborough and through the Air Quality Management Area at Bond End.  The bid has been specifically targeted at areas of poor air quality and is anticipated to provide significant improvement across the route one corridor.

Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport welcomed the news. She said: “This funding will have a real positive impact. It will provide the opportunity for a number of older buses, which run in areas of poor air quality, to be fitted with green technology to make them more environmentally friendly. This will mean less pollution and cleaner air for everyone.

“The council is working hard to improve the transport infrastructure in the district and securing funds to make buses cleaner is a major step forward. We look forward to working with transport operators in the district over the next few months to introduce this remarkable technology.”

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Greener buses mean cleaner town and city centres and a healthier environment for everyone. The upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads in England continue our commitment to better air quality by investing in greener transport. By targeting pollution hotspots and backing the low-emission technology of the future, we are making the right long-term decisions to improve people’s lives.

“It is great to be able to announce Government funding from this national scheme which will be delivered in Harrogate and Knaresborough to directly benefit our area.”

Alex Hornby, Chief Executive at Transdev, said: “I’m delighted that our bids, alongside our partners in Harrogate and Leeds, to upgrade the buses used on routes 1 to Knaresborough and 770/771 to Wetherby and Leeds, have both been successful.

“We’re already investing heavily in cleaner technologies with 52 new buses being delivered for our customers in 2016, and a number of 100% electric buses already in service in York and Harrogate including the world’s first electric double decker. With these further upgrades we’re really going to be making a difference helping to deliver more and more greener journeys for our communities.

“We want our customers to be proud of their local bus services, and we’re certain that with our continued commitment to improving buses, networks and the environment we work and live in, we’ll be well on our way to achieving this.”

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