The Big Lemon
|Service area||East Sussex|
|Service type||Bus services|
|Routes||3 (January 2015)|
|Destinations||Brighton, Falmer, Woodingdean, Ovingdean|
The Big Lemon was founded by Tom Druitt in 2007.
After gaining an operator licence, the first public transport route was launched on 1 September 2007. Route 42X originally operated from Brighton Station to Falmer Station, with hopes to expand the operation with more routes. After lower than expected passenger numbers, and competition from Brighton & Hove, the company scaled down the level of service, re-launching it in January 2008, and to reconsider its operating model. From 7 to 29 January 2008, the service operated on a reduced frequency, ending once the original route registration expired after the mandated period.
The service was re-launched on 28 February 2008 with a new timetable, aimed at university students. Appeals to the Traffic Commissioner to waive the rules on the notification period for new registrations failed, resulting in a gap in service until re-launch.
The new service was cut back to terminate at Churchill Square rather than Brighton station, due to previous low demand for journeys to the station, and congestion around the station. The service was also changed to run later into the night, with evening route extensions via the University of Sussex's Falmer campus.
This new service operated as planned until the end of the university year on 26 June 2008.
This was The Big Lemons first public bus service, originating from its service 42X. Service 42 operated from Churchill Square to Sussex University via Lewes Road operating in direct competition with Brighton & Hove's route 25. During the evenings the route number changed to 42A and served West Street. It would later be renumbered N42. The N42 charged high fares as it operated from 00:00 – 04:00.
In 2011 the company renumbered routes 42A and N42 to 42. On 9 December 2011 the company applied to the Traffic Commissioner to cancel route 42 citing intense competition that it faced on the route from Brighton & Hove's route 25. Earlier in 2011 Brighton & Hove lowered its fares just on service 25 to match the prices charged by The Big Lemon.
Route 43 was introduced in September 2010 and only operated till January 2011. The route still focusing on the student trade operated from Old Steine during the day and Hove during the evening up to Brighton University's Falmer campus.
Route 44 was introduced at the same time as route 43 in September 2010, route 44 is the only service operated by The Big Lemon not in direct competition with Brighton & Hove. Route 44 operates from Churchill Square to Saltdean.
- Companies House extract company no 6075786 The Big Lemon CIC
- Bright bid for bus franchise The Argus 16 October 2008
- Lemon buses squeezed off road The Argus 3 December 2007
- Big Lemon Squeezed out The Argus 31 January 2008
- Council funded bus services just the ticket Brighton & Hove City Council
- Public Bus Services in Brighton & Hove The Yellow Bus
- Biodiesel from Waste Cooking Oil The Big Lemon
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