Transdev CEO Alex Hornby is calling on decision makers in Harrogate to create a low emission zone in the heart of the spa town, to build on the success of its electric buses.
“We must go further for our town’s future,” says Hornby, adding that bolder thinking is needed to ensure the ‘Harrogate Station Gateway’ scheme succeeds in cutting air pollution on the streets. The bus operator is calling for a low emission zone to be introduced to cover Harrogate bus station and Lower Station Parade which runs alongside it.
A partnership of North Yorkshire local authorities has already secured a total of £31million from the Transforming Cities fund for three separate projects in Harrogate, Skipton and Selby. The aim is to finalise designs and start construction work by summer 2022, with completion in 2023.
The ‘Harrogate Gateway’ forms an integral part of a wider plan to cut emissions and tackle ever-growing traffic congestion across the town, including public transport and highway improvements. The proposals aim to create a more welcoming town centre for bus and rail users with more safe space for pedestrians and a new area for public events. An online survey is currently underway to gather residents’ views ahead of further engagement work this spring and summer.
“While we see the Station Gateway proposals as a positive step towards our shared aim of a low emission town, we must go further for Harrogate’s future by making the most of this tremendous opportunity,” adds Hornby. “Our positive experience with our ground-breaking Harrogate Electrics buses shows we can change our town’s air quality for the better if we do things differently – but we must do much more.
“The proposed bus priority measures at Lower Station Parade and Cheltenham Parade – the first such measures to be put forward in the town’s history – are a positive start, and are to be welcomed, but by themselves are unlikely to go far enough to achieve Harrogate Borough Council’s stated aim of creating a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.”