The Press is showcasing the winners of our business awards for 2023.

Yesterday's print issue included a free 16-page supplement detailing the winners, with a report and photos of the glittering ceremony, staged at the Knavesmire last Thursday night.

Yesterday, we also began featuring the details of the winners on our website, with more due over the next few days.

Today, we feature the winner of the innovation category, the First York bus company, who is taking a lead with its fleet of electric buses.


First York is the largest bus operator in the city.

It also runs the Park and Ride network in conjunction with City of York Council and free shuttle services for University of York to support student travel on the campus together with services connecting into York centre.

Tom Donnelly, Operations Manager of First York said: “Winning the Business Innovation Award is real evidence of our strong and successful partnership with City of York Council. We supported a bid to secure Government funding alongside multi-million pound investment by First Bus. It is also recognition of the hard work and commitment across the whole team to co-ordinate a major project to transform our business.

“Our York depot on James Street is being transformed to become fully electric and will be one of the first outside London when completed in the early part of 2024.

York Press:

“The installation of charging infrastructure is nearing completion and we are gradually introducing 53 new all-electric vehicles with the York Electric livery in addition to our existing fleet of zero emission buses – the Park and Ride double-deckers introduced in 2020 and our Versa midsize buses, which have been retrofitted with an innovative all-electric drivetrain. Solar panels on the roof our engineering bays to generate our own renewable energy and a new heating system are further reducing the carbon footprint of our entire operation.

“The award will enable us to tell the story of what we have achieved in York and how greener bus travel is the leading the way in helping to lower carbon emissions and create cleaner, quieter streets across York. This will be used to encourage local people and visitors to consider using the bus more often which will grow the market as well as benefitting everyone in reducing congestion.

“First Bus has a strategy to for its national fleet to be zero emission by 2035. York is among depots trailblazing this ambition.”