The transport group has been working on a number of initiatives that aim to boost the environmental credentials of bus travel

Earlier this year Transdev planted the first of 40 trees that will be planted each year in Harrogate



Transdev has been working on a number of low carbon bus initiatives across its bus operations in the North of England in recent years. These aim to place the transport group at the forefront of the latest technology that aims to both improve and highlight the environmental credentials of the bus.

Harrogate: a low emissions bus town

The operator has been striving towards creating Britain’s first ever low emissions bus town in Harrogate – a move that aims to create a positive game changer for public transport and the environment in the area. This ambition has been backed by some serious investment as a result of a joint investment of almost £4m to bring eight ground-breaking fully electric buses to the town as a result of a successful bid to win funding of £2.25m from the government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme.

Eight Volvo electric buses entered service on three of Transdev’s routes in Harrogate last summer. The vehicles are entirely electric and are the first in the UK to use ‘opportunity charging’ via masts on three departure stands in Harrogate Bus Station. These charging masts are each fitted with a built-in transformer which converts uprated power at 1,600 volts AC into a 600 volts DC supply, delivered via a pantograph on the roof of the bus. This charge, taking between four and seven minutes, provides each vehicle with enough power to support a range of 25 miles – ample for the three routes.

Of course these buses are entirely emission free in operation, helping to slash dangerous air pollution on Harrogate’s streets. But the company has gone further. To help improve the environment in the town it has given a commitment to plant one tree for every 10,000 miles covered by the vehicles. In total that means an impressive 40 trees will be planted around Harrogate every year. The public has also taken the new buses too with patronage growth of 9% so far, proving that zero emission vehicles alongside a better overall product can stimulate fresh demand.

The operator is also going further with its ambitions to create the low emissions bus town. The award-winning and high profile Route 36 between Harrogate and Leeds has been operated by the very latest high specification Euro 6 vehicles for some time now and buses operating on Route 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough have been retrofitted with an exhaust after treatment system that brings their NOx emissions down to the very latest and demanding standards. This technology has also been rolled out on The SHUTTLE-branded route between Keighley and Bradford.

World first electric sightseeing tour

Meanwhile, Transdev’s City Sightseeing tour in York has become the world’s first open top sightseeing tour to be operated by fully electric vehicles. The project has seen the fleet of vehicles employed on this operation retrofitted by electric vehicle specialist Magtec to run completely on electric power.

It’s an initiative that saw Transdev working in partnership with the City of York Council to win a share of the government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund. In the first phase of the project a single vehicle was converted from conventional diesel power to full electric and, once the technology was proven, the remainder of the fleet was converted. The conversion work means that 33 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 535kg of NOx have been eliminated from the sensitive and highly historic streets of York each year.

Investing in a Euro 6 bus fleet

Investment in the latest Euro 6 low emission vehicles continues elsewhere at Transdev’s operations across the north of England. The most recent £3.5m order calls for 21 new vehicles that will be deployed on Cityzap services between Leeds and York and Transdev’s operations in Blackburn.

This article brought to you in partnership with Transdev.

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