Harrogate bus route 36

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The Harrogate Bus Company
Route 36
OperatorThe Harrogate Bus Company
VehicleWright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL (2016–2024)
Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV (2024–)
LocaleNorth Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
FrequencyEvery 10–30 minutes[a]
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The 36 is a bus service operated by The Harrogate Bus Company, which links Leeds, Harewood and Harrogate with Ripley and Ripon. It is operated by a fleet of high-specification Wright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL double-deck vehicles, branded in a red and black livery.[1]

The service is an example of a premium service characterised by more luxurious vehicles compared to those used on other commuter lines,[2] which in combination with a high service frequency has significantly increased ridership and influenced the modal split in favour of public transport.[3]


Trains on the Leeds to Northallerton Railway had provided the main service between Leeds and Ripon between 1848 and 1967, until passenger services were cut back to Harrogate, following the infamous Beeching cuts. Since then, Ripon has only been served by bus services, with Harrogate and Knaresborough being the nearest rail stations to the city.

The 36 was originally operated by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company from the mid 1960s, with the route running between Vicar Lane in Leeds and Ripon Railway Station. However, most journeys only operated between Leeds and Harrogate.

Route 36 began operating using a fleet of Leyland Lynxes. In the 1990s, they were replaced by a fleet of Wright Endurance bodied Volvo B10Bs, Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10BLEs and Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympians.[citation needed]

In October 2003, Harrogate & District relaunched route 36 with fourteen Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs with leather seats.[4][5][6][2] The improvements lead to an increase in patronage by 18% in 2006 alone.[7] In 2010, the fleet was refurbished and remodelled with a new livery and 2+1 seating on the upper deck, as well as launching under a new brand name – "36 City Connect".[8][9][10][11]

In January 2016, route 36 was again relaunched with fourteen new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TLs,[9][10] fitted with coach-style leather seating, WiFi, USB charging points, an on-board library and audio-visual next stop information.[4] To coincide with this, it also launched under a new brand name – "The 36: Riding Redefined".[12]

In September 2021, a night service was reintroduced on Saturdays.[13]

Funding from the UK Government's Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme was secured in May 2022 to aid Transdev Blazefield and North Yorkshire County Council in the electrification of the 36, which will see nineteen Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV battery electric double-decker buses with pantograph chargers delivered to replace the existing diesel Volvo B5TLs on the service.[14][15] These are expected to enter service in spring 2024.[16]


  1. ^ Buses are up to every 10 minutes to Leeds and every 30 minutes to Ripon. An hourly service operates during the evening.


  1. ^ "36 - Ripon & Harrogate to Leeds". The Harrogate Bus Company. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Plisner, P. (4 February 2005). "Posh bus". Bus and Coach Professional (97): 18–20.
  3. ^ White, Peter (2011). "Discussion Paper: Equitable access: Remote and rural communities 'transport needs'" (PDF). International Transport Forum. International Transport Forum Discussion Papers. doi:10.1787/5kg9mq4wlzkk-en. hdl:10419/68817.
  4. ^ a b Jones, Stuart (26 January 2016). "Transdev Harrogate redefines the 36". Bus and Coach Buyer. Archived from the original on 5 September 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  5. ^ Commuters lured by luxury bus BBC News 27 October 2003
  6. ^ Route 36 Harrogate Bus Company Accessed 26 February 2017
  7. ^ The Ten Percent Club (2006). Routes to revenue growth: the message from nine successful bus services. London: Local Transport Today Limited.
  8. ^ The famous Yorkshire 36 set to be the finest bus Archived 5 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Transdev 22 January 2016
  9. ^ a b Transdev Harrogate redefines the 36 Bus & Coach Buyer 26 January 2016
  10. ^ a b £3m touch of luxury for Harrogate-Leeds no 36 rock star of buses Harrogate Advertiser 29 January 2016
  11. ^ "Ripon – Harrogate – Leeds" (PDF). 16 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "The 36: Riding, Redefined". Transdev. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  13. ^ Chalmers, Graham (2 September 2021). "New services announced as Harrogate Bus Company gets back to normal". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  14. ^ Webster, Jacob (31 March 2022). "Millions awarded to turn Harrogate's bus fleet electric". The Northern Echo. Darlington. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  15. ^ Kitchen, Ruby (14 May 2022). "How electric buses could be 'force for good' to ease travel woes as Harrogate bucks transport trend". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Transdev orders eCitaro and Enviro400EV for Harrogate". routeone. 16 August 2023. Retrieved 16 August 2023.

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