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Poppleton Park & Ride to reopen in April

Councillors and First staff holding promotional signage

Poppleton Bar Park & Ride will reopen on Saturday 1 April, just in time for the Easter holidays, following the site being used as a COVID-19 testing centre.

York has one of the top Park & Ride services in the UK, with more than three million passenger journeys in 2022, allowing commuters to travel to York by car or bike, park for free in secure car parks/bike lockers and complete their journey into the city centre by bus.

All Park & Ride services are low-floor and wheelchair accessible, with fully-electric buses operating on several routes. Fares are low with up to three children under 16 travelling free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.

The reopening of the Park & Ride site has been supported by York’s Bus Service Improvement Plan [BSIP]. The BSIP is a document required by the Department for Transport [DfT] following the publication of National Bus Strategy in March 2021. City of York Council was awarded £17.36m from the DfT in November 2022 to support the development of the BSIP and key bus schemes and initiatives across the city.

York’s BSIP sets out a new vision to help improve York’s bus network, aiming to make it more inclusive, accessible, attractive and welcoming – becoming a source of pride for the city and its residents.

The key objectives in the BSIP are:

  • Improving the frequency of bus services, providing more routes and supporting the reintroduction of park and ride services from Poppleton Bar following its use as a COVID-19 testing centre
  • Better, cheaper tickets for young people, and better tickets which are valid for travel on all bus services in York
  • Completing the electrification of First York’s bus fleet, following in the footsteps of the 33 electric buses already operating in the city
  • Providing bus priorities and supporting rapid bus services to new developments around York
  • Upgrading York’s Park & Ride network, allowing it to support a wider range of bus services, providing overnight parking at more sites and refurbishing the two oldest sites, at Rawcliffe Bar and Grimston Bar.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: “We’re delighted to be reopening Poppleton Park & Ride in partnership with First Bus. York has one of the best Park & Rides in the country, with frequent, low-floor, wheelchair accessible, fully electric buses.

 “To encourage greater use of the bus network, and sustainable travel routes, our network and bus services must be safe, convenient and attractive to residents, commuters and visitors. Reopening the site is a major step forward to achieving this.”

Tom Bridge, Operations Director of First North & West Yorkshire, said: “We look forward to welcoming customers back to Poppleton Bar and increasing the number of people who travel with us every day. Using our all-electric buses provides a quieter, calmer journey into the city, helps avoid congestion and reduce carbon emissions. We will also be introducing our newly-repowered single decker buses to operate from Poppleton which will offer a quality travel experience in comfort.”

In March last year, the council was awarded an initial £8.4million in ZEBRA scheme funding, which enabled an order for 44 electric buses from British manufacturer Wrightbus. Earlier this month, the council was awarded an additional £1.8m to increase the scope of the Zero-Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

The latest ZEBRA bid also brings continued significant investment in York from First Bus, with the operator pledging to co-fund £2.8m for a further nine electric buses. With these additional vehicles, the First York bus fleet will become fully electric by 2024 – a major step forward in decarbonising the city and the first depot outside London to achieve this goal.

The funding will also be used to support the full electrification of First’s James Street depot, including the installation of charging equipment and removal of the diesel refuelling station.

Published: 21st March 2023