Harrogate Bus Company

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The Harrogate Bus Company
Transdev logo.svg
Harrogate & District bus 2708 (Y708 HRN) 2001 Volvo B7TL Transbus President, Seacroft bus station, 14 May 2011.jpg
ParentTransdev Blazefield
Service areaNorth Yorkshire
Service typeBus services
Routes13 (October 2013)
Pateley Bridge
Fleet70 (October 2013)

The Harrogate Bus Company[1] is a bus operator based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of Transdev Blazefield. Commencing in July 2016, the business is progressively being rebranded from Transdev in Harrogate.


In 1906 The Harrogate Road Car Company[2] was formed, initially operating steam buses in Harrogate, and from 1911 petrol buses. In 1924 it was absorbed into Tilling & British Automobile Traction and renamed Harrogate & District Road Car Company. With the company's expansion during the following years, in 1927 it was renamed West Yorkshire Road Car Company, to reflect its wider geographical spread.[3]

In 1948, along with other companies that were then part of the Tilling Group, West Yorkshire Road Car Company was nationalised. In 1968 West Yorkshire Road Car Company became part of the National Bus Company.[3]

In 1987 West Yorkshire Road Car Company was sold in a management buyout to former East Yorkshire Motor Services managing director Alan Stephenson's AJS Group and in December 1988 split into smaller companies, one of which was Harrogate & District Transport Limited.[1][3] In April 1989 Harrogate Independent Travel,[4] which had been set up as an independent operator in January 1987 by 10 former Harrogate drivers to challenge their former employer, was purchased by AJS Group.[5]

In 1991 Harrogate & District Travel was one of a number of AJS Group subsidiaries sold to Blazefield Travel.[6][7][8][9] In 1996 Cowie's United Automobile Services operation in Ripon was purchased.

In January 2006 Harrogate & District Travel was included in the sale of Blazefield Holdings to Transdev.[10][11] Harrogate & District was rebranded as Transdev in Harrogate. Starting from July 2016, Transdev in Harrogate was again rebranded to the Harrogate Bus Company.[12][13]


As at June 2016, the Harrogate Bus Company operates 13 bus routes.[14] The key marketed route is 36, a high frequency service between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds.

In 2018 some routes were rebranded; the 71 (formerly 771) was rebranded as the 7 (photographed in on New Briggate, Leeds 2018)

Another significant route was the airport Xpress route 767 service between Harrogate and Leeds Bradford Airport, which Harrogate & District operated from its inception in April 2005 until the contract was awarded to Dales & District in April 2010. Retendering by North Yorkshire County Council in 2011 saw all the routes that had been operated for the council pass to other operators with except route X59 to Skipton on which a reduced commercially operated service was retained for a short period until withdrawn completely.

In 2011, the Harrogate Bus Company, then trading as Transdev in Harrogate, became involved in a bus war with Connexionsbuses concerning services radiating out of Wetherby bus station.[15][16]

In 2018 Harrogate Bus Company simplified its route numbers with routes such as the 71 (originally the 771) being rebranded as the route 7.[17]

In 2018, all bus routes which operated within Harrogate and did not venture to other towns became served by electric buses. These buses charge on stands 1-3 at Harrogate bus station. The scheme is part funded by the government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme.[18]

An electric bus charging at Harrogate bus station


  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 2327319 Harrogate & District Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 91413 Welwyn & Hatfield Line Bus Company Limited formerly AJS Developments Limited formerly West Yorkshire Road Car Company Limited
  3. ^ a b c A brief history Harrogate Bus Company
  4. ^ Companies House extract company no 2326011 Harrogate Independent Travel Limited
  5. ^ AJS swallows Challenger Commercial Motor 20 April 1989
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 2188825 Blazefield Travel Group Limited
  7. ^ AJS sells remaining bus firms Commercial Motor August 1991
  8. ^ Jenkinson, Keith A (1999). Small is Beautiful, The Story of the AJS Group and Blazefield Holdings. Autobus Review Publications. ISBN 0907834426.
  9. ^ First for Fearnley in UK Bus move Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 26 January 2011
  10. ^ Transdev acquires Blazefield Group Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 7 January 2006
  11. ^ A new stop for Blazefield Yorkshire Post 9 January 2006
  12. ^ "Harrogate Bus Company celebrates 110 years of service" Coach & Bus Week issue 1253 16 August 2016 page 10
  13. ^ "Transdev rolls out two more rebrands" Buses Magazine issue 738 September 2016 page 9
  14. ^ Timetables Harrogate Bus Company
  15. ^ Harrogate to Wetherby bus war breaks out BBC News 4 July 2011
  16. ^ War erupts over bus service Harrogate Advertiser 9 July 2011
  17. ^ Simple, fast and direct - 70 & 71 become 7 from 15 April Harrogate Bus Company
  18. ^ "Harrogate to get electric bus fleet". 6 February 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Harrogate & District (bus company) at Wikimedia Commons