The Big Lemon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Big Lemon
The Big Lemon logo.png
The Big Lemon P229 EJW.JPG
Marshall bodied Mercedes-Benz in April 2009
Parent Tom Druitt
Founded 2007
Headquarters Brighton
Service area Brighton & Hove, Sussex, UK
Service type Bus services, coach hire, festivals, Sunday walks
Routes 52, University of Brighton, Brighton Metropolitan College, Legal & General
Destinations Brighton, Falmer, Woodingdean, Ovingdean
Fuel type Biodiesel, Solar Powered Electric

The Big Lemon[1] is a bus operator in Brighton, East Sussex. It is registered as a Community Interest Company.


Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M in July 2012
East Lancs EL2000 bodied Dennis Dart on in Brighton in January 2011
Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Brighton in September 2013

The Big Lemon was founded by Tom Druitt in 2007.[2]

Initial service[edit]

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,[3] 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.[4]

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.

Route 42/42A/N42[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Route 52[edit]

In September 2012 The Big Lemon successfully tendered to operate route 52 between Brighton Marina and Woodingdean which also goes to Ovingdean under contract to Brighton & Hove City Council.[5]

Norman Baker[edit]

Norman Baker

On 17 March 2017, it was announced that Norman Baker, the former Liberal Democrat MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, had been appointed managing director of the Big Lemon.[6]

New Routes[edit]

on 17 September 2017 , The Big Lemon took over routes 16, between Portslade and Hangleton, 47, between Brighton station and East Saltdean, 56, between Knoll estate and Patcham , 57, between Brighton station and East Saltdean and 66 which goes in a circular route around Portslade and Hangleton.[7]


As at September 2017 The Big Lemon operate six services. additionally they operate a shuttle bus for Brighton Metropolitan College[8] Buses run on biodiesel that is refined from waste cooking oil.[9]


The Big Lemon operates a fleet of Mercedes-Benz O814D and Optare Solo buses. they are also temporarily using six enviro 200 and one Volvo B7TL Plaxton President until new buses are delivered to operate the new routes. the company also has five Volvo B10M coaches, three with a Van Hool body, one with Jonckheere and one with Plaxton Premiere, as well as an electric minibus.

the number of vehicles in total (excluding oil collection vehcles) is 17.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 6075786 The Big Lemon CIC
  2. ^ Bright bid for bus franchise The Argus 16 October 2008
  3. ^ Lemon buses squeezed off road The Argus 3 December 2007
  4. ^ Big Lemon Squeezed out The Argus 31 January 2008
  5. ^ Council funded bus services just the ticket Brighton & Hove City Council
  6. ^ "Norman Baker joins The Big Lemon as Managing Director for Brighton and Hove". The Big Lemon. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "Bus Services". The Big Lemon. 2015-11-08. Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  8. ^ "Bus Services". The Big Lemon. 2015-11-08. Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  9. ^ Biodiesel from Waste Cooking Oil The Big Lemon

External links[edit]