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YP Letters: Harrogate bus operator’s commitment to clean energy

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From: Alex Hornby, Chief Executive Officer, Transdev Blazefield, The Harrogate Bus Company.

I WAS recently contacted by Harrogate Borough Council asking The Harrogate Bus Company to report back on actions taken to reduce pollution in Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough as part of their Air Quality Action Plan preparation.

Alex Hornby with one of Harrogate's new electric buses.

Alex Hornby with one of Harrogate's new electric buses.

We are proud of the strides our company has made over the past year and I wanted to share some of our achievements (and the positive impact on the target areas identified by the council) with your readers.

Gone are the days when buses were known for polluting our roads, and now our fleet sets an example with its low or zero emission credentials.

Our eight brand new, 100 per cent electric buses will shortly enter service serving our customers in Bilton, Jennyfields and Pannal Ash. These are the first of their kind in the UK and powered by renewable energy.

Our buses on the 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough have been fitted with emission reduction technology which have eliminated NOx emissions by 96 per cent – directly benefitting Bond End in Knaresborough.

Our buses on the 7 between Harrogate, Wetherby and Leeds are currently being fitted with the same equipment before the end of this financial year – directly benefitting Woodlands Junction.

On the 36 between Leeds, Harrogate and Ripon, we operate the cleanest diesel buses in production as well as the most highly specified luxurious buses in the UK – directly benefitting High/Low Skellgate in Ripon.

We offer free bus travel to our colleagues and their families, as well as a ‘staff bus’ for those starting work before our daily services commence. We also use a telematics system to measure driving performance which also helps to reduce emissions and offers smoother journeys for our customers.

We were pleased when Harrogate Borough Council made a pledge to ban the most polluting buses from our roads. This fits with our strategy and supports our overall vision as we embrace clean vehicle technology.

We’re now working alongside Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Zero Carbon Harrogate and the Harrogate Chamber of Trade to make Harrogate the first ever Low Emission Bus Town in the UK.

A bus can take up to 75 cars off the road, but a clean bus can do so with the greatest benefit to our air and the environment.

Whilst recognising that not everyone has access to one of our buses, we want to send a message that we are doing our bit to help clean up the air for the benefit of everyone in the district, and we will carry on in our mission to be a class-leading transport provider and continue building on these standards.

From: Mrs L Kitching, St Catherines Hill, Bramley, Leeds.

LAST Monday, I visited the Owlcotes Shopping Centre mear Pudsey. On leaving, I was amazed to read that the last bus of the day was at 2.35pm (which did not turn up). Surely this is wrong – we don’t all have a car.

Use hospital to meet needs

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

I AM very pleased that our local MP Rachael Maskell has managed to get a delaying request/order to prevent the NHS owners from just selling Bootham Hospital to the highest bidder.

In my view, it should never have closed in the first place. Two of York’s biggest problems are overcrowding and the care of elderly, disabled, mentally ill people and folk at the lower end of the “quality of life” scale.

By and large, the rich can take care of themselves, but the sick and low paid, like nurses, need all the help Government and “society” can give them. This should be a major factor in deciding what happens to the Bootham Hospital building.

It should/must be used again to assist our NHS in caring for those in genuine need. It is a good idea to open it up again to help those suffering with dementia, and to provide affordable housing accommodation for new 
nurses.

The building is sound, the site excellent, the grounds well cared for and it offers peace and beauty and tranquility for those in need. How do we make those who have the final say, aware of what so many feel and want?

Trump-style xenophobia?

From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

UNLIKE Dr JP Whiteley (The Yorkshire Post, September 12), I didn’t find Jayne Dowle’s recent piece on the potential effect of Brexit on foreign travel at all “disagreeable”.

In fact I find Dr Whiteley’s views somewhat xenophobic. For the record, I prefer Scarborough to St Tropez and my guess is that Jayne also loves the jewel of our East Coast. I also rejoice in its burgeoning tourist industry.

However, the “I’ll be staying in Yorkshire” mentality smacks of the sort of isolationism which characterises Donald Trump’s language.

Geographical and cultural diversity can only enrich.

I am proud of being British but the one reservation I have had about this great country is the insularity which extends beyond its geography. I fear it is getting worse.

So does my son, a professional musician whose work regularly takes him abroad.

Strange kind of tourism

From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.

PRESIDENT Putin denies that the Salisbury attackers are anything to do with the Russian State, or even the Russian military. So he seems to suggest that they are merely ordinary tourists.

I wonder how many ordinary tourists wander around with nerve agent in their posession?