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Tender process opens to bid for York’s Park & Ride service contract

City of York Council has opened a tender process for bus operators to bid to manage one of the UK’s most successful Park & Ride services.

With over four-million passenger journeys each year, the council is confident the tender will attract a number of high profile bids to continue offering the best possible deal for residents and visitors.

York’s first Park & Ride service started in the late 1970s, operating from two under-utilised car parks just beyond the city walls, catering for peak demand for Christmas shopping and the first permanent Park&Ride site opened in 1990.

Growth in demand is shown below.

  • 1990 - 159,690 passengers
  • 1995 - 734,150
  • 2000 - 1,146,379
  • 2005 - 2,625,250
  • 2016 - now over four million passenger journeys each year

Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member for Transport and Planning at City of York Council, said: “What started out in the 70s as a small service has now grown exponentially to cater for over four-million passengers every year. York’s Park & Ride is something to be proud of and is one of the most successful services in the UK.

“Our ambition is to work with the new operator to expand on this offer by introducing more Ultra Low Emission buses on our routes, continue to offer frequent and low-cost services and help to reduce congestion in the city centre in addition to other improvements to the service.”

The new seven-year contact will continue to offer frequent, low-floor and wheelchair-accessible buses operating from six dedicated Park & Ride sites across the city. In addition to this, new audio-visual next stop displays will be introduced on all Park & Ride buses which, like the London Underground, will announce the next stop along the route.

York became one of the first cities in the UK to introduce a new fleet of electric buses to its Poppleton Bar site in 2014. The electric buses provide cleaner and greener journeys for thousands of passengers and are helping to save over 7,500 tons of CO2 emissions in York over their lifespan.

Expanding on the ultra low emission bus offer in York is a key part of the new contract. The council is proposing to support this ambition by investing a one-off capital contribution of £200,000 which will be used towards the purchase and installation cost of charging (electric) or fuelling (compressed natural gas or Hydrogen) equipment.

The tender process will close in August and the council is expected to award the new contract by October 2016.

For more information see our Park & Ride section.