Transport to be hot topic at chamber debate

24 October 2016

The future of local transport will be under discussion at the next meeting of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce.

Covering everything from local bus and rail services to national and international air links, the meeting is designed to give local businesses a chance to hear the latest news – and put their needs to those with the power to act on their behalf.

Leeds Bradford Airport, Virgin Trains, Northern Trains and the Harrogate Bus Company will all be represented on the programme. There will also be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions and debate the issues raised.


Chamber chief executive Sandra Doherty said:

Transport is one of the biggest concerns for many businesses in the Harrogate district.

Whether it’s having the right routes and timetables to enable staff to get to work, or ensuring Harrogate is closely linked to other cities and countries to enable better international trade, it’s something that affects almost every business in some way.


The meeting has been organised by the chamber’s transport spokesman, Brian Dunsby. The speakers are:


  • Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director, Leeds Bradford Airport: “Update on growth and development at Leeds Bradford Airport”. He will give details of developments at the airport including access via road and rail, with the planned parkway station, parking and drop-off facilities, and route developments over the coming year.
  • Alex Hornby, Chief Executive Officer, Transdev Blazefield / Harrogate Bus Company:“Blazing Ahead: Public Transport solutions for the customer of today & tomorrow”. The discussion will cover the flagship 36 bus, plans for investment in new technology, and reducing emissions around towns.
  • Paul Barnfield, Regional Director – East, Northern Rail: “Northern Rail: new franchise; more services, new trains”. Under discussion will be improvements to Harrogate station, car parking, refurbished rolling stock on the Harrogate line and doubling the frequency of services.
  • Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director, Virgin Trains East Coast: “Virgin Trains East Coast – transforming the railway between Harrogate & London”. The new Azuma trains, increased regular services from Harrogate to London, and the special services for Harrogate Christmas Market will be among the topics presented.


The open meeting will be held at the Crown Hotel, Crown Place, Harrogate on Monday 7 November 2016.
Networking begins at 5.30pm, with the meeting starting at 6.15pm. Attendance is free for members and first-time visitors, but places need to be booked in advance via the website, Any repeat visitors can attend for £15 per person.

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