Campaign Update

Brighton & Hove City Council have invited The Big Lemon to a top level meeting to discuss progress towards levelling the playing field in the City’s bus industry. This is as a result of a petition started by Jackie Chase at Radio Free Brighton to save The Big Lemon’s bus services following an increase in the intensity of competition on The Big Lemon’s main route from its much larger local rival.

The petition calls for the City Council to:

  1. Ensure all bus operators in the city compete in a fair and legal manner, and refer unfair or illegal competitive behaviour to the Office of Fair Trading
  2. Ensure passage of information from the City Council to the public is unbiased and consistent for all bus operators
  3. Open up the City Council’s Quality Bus Partnership agreement to all operators within the City
  4. Take steps to establish a multi-operator ticketing system using new powers under the Local Transport Act 2008, as has been done in Oxford, and
  5. Ensure smaller operators are not at a disadvantage when applying for Council contracts due to the level of resources at their disposal

Tom Druitt, The Big Lemon’s MD, said:
“The City Council have made it clear that they are committed to levelling the playing field in the City’s bus industry, and this is very welcome indeed. They have accepted that there is work to do to ensure smaller operators are not disadvantaged compared with larger rivals, and we have agreed an action plan to ensure that smaller bus operators can thrive in the city. This is great news for The Big Lemon, and indeed for all local independent operators who may want to run local servics but until now have not been able to do so.”