Free bus trips in Harrogate for shoppers as BID steps up help for town centre

Harrogate businesses are unwrapping an early Christmas gift for the town and its shoppers – free Sunday journeys on the town’s Harrogate Electrics buses are coming back in time for festive shopping.

Monday, 30th November 2020, 5:26 pm
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 5:30 pm

The ‘Sunday Freeway’ free journeys on the electric buses, run by The Harrogate Bus Company, are returning to the spa town from this Sunday, December 6 thanks to Harrogate BID – the Business Improvement District - which is stepping up its support for the initiative into 2021 in a further boost for the town's economy and town centre shops.

The new announcement sees Harrogate BID, which was set up in 2019 to bring local firms together to provide extra incentives to attract more people to shop local, supporting free Sunday buses on three Harrogate Electrics routes for a second Christmas, after the business organisation sponsored the journeys for three months leading up to the festive season in 2019.

Flashback to 2019 when Harrogate BID first launched its support for Harrogate Bus Company's free bus trips into the town centre in the festive season.

Harrogate Electrics bus services 2A, 2B, 3 and 6, which link Bilton, Dene Park, The Knox, Jennyfield and Pannal Ash with the town centre, will now continue to be free to use every Sunday, thanks to the exclusive sponsorship deal with Harrogate BID.

Harrogate BID Acting Chairman Sara Ferguson said: “This has been a uniquely challenging year for every business in our town, and now more than ever it’s vital that we do everything we possibly can to support Harrogate firms by safely visiting our town centre for shopping and leisure.

“It’s clear that the Sunday Freeway free electric buses made a significant contribution to the economic viability of the town centre in the run-up to Christmas 2019, and as the national lockdown ends and smaller locally-owned retailers reopen, there can be no better time for us to get on board and bring back this superb free asset to Harrogate.

“As an organisation devoted to making our town the best it can be, we’re already supporting Harrogate’s Christmas lights to make sure our streets look festive and welcoming.

"Powering free trips into town on Sundays on Harrogate’s electric buses is the next step in our mission to make spending time in the heart of our town a pleasure for everyone, right into 2021.”

Harrogate BID’s sponsorship of free Sunday journeys in the run-up to Christmas 2019 helped the Harrogate Electrics buses generate a rise of up to 90 per cent in the number of customers travelling, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “We’re delighted that Harrogate BID are able to form a joint local partnership with us to support free travel on Sundays on our Harrogate Electrics buses for a second Christmas, and on into the New Year.

"It’s amazing news for our town – reducing emissions and congestion while making it easier to support our local economy and get our town’s traders back on their feet.

“Our electric buses are among the safest places to be, with an enhanced cleaning regime in place to keep everyone safe.

"Customers can also check how busy each bus is before they step on board, using our Transdev Go mobile app.

“Harrogate’s businesses have had an incredibly tough year, with two lockdowns and continued restrictions impacting everyone.

"It’s now up to us all to support them as they re-open for the crucial run-up to Christmas by taking advantage of free travel on Harrogate Electrics buses to shop local on Sundays in our town centre.”

As part of an extensive daily cleaning process, a powerful anti-viral mist is sprayed through each Harrogate Electrics bus each night – with further deep cleaning at Harrogate bus station throughout the day to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.

Timetables for the free Sunday buses and all of The Harrogate Bus Company’s services are available online at: https://www.transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate, from the travel kiosk at Harrogate Bus Station, or via the Transdev Go mobile app.

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