So The Big Lemon is 10 on 1 September 2017. And we’ve come a long way since the idea for a truly sustainable, community based bus and coach company lit up like a light bulb in the head of our founder and CEO, Tom Druitt all those years ago.
I wasn’t around in Brighton when it all started but I bet there were plenty of people at the time who were patronisingly dismissive of the whole idea and regarded it as a flight of fancy that would vanish as soon as it arrived.
How wrong they were.
Ten years on, and The Big Lemon has never been stronger. Over those ten years we have built a reputation for being at the cutting edge of environmental innovation, and for great passenger service. People like us and want to use our services, which is a great testament to all those who have been involved in building the company, not least our drivers who are the public face of The Big Lemon.
Ten years on and we are still innovating and ahead of the game. This year we have introduced the first solar-powered electric bus in the UK and have since added another such bus and an electric minibus. Our solar panels not only power our buses, but our offices too, and have enough power left to export to the grid. Our conversion of diesel vehicles into electric ones is also a first for the UK, and we are working with the Sheffield company Magtec on this frontier-pushing project.
Ten years on and we are looking to expand the bus routes we offer in the Brighton area and have delivered a set of creative and seductive proposals to Brighton and Hove Council to make this a reality.
Ten years on and our finances have never been healthier, with record profits last year, demonstrating that doing the right thing by the environment and by our passengers makes sound economic sense.
Ten years on and we have accumulated a cabinet full of awards for what we do, and are currently shortlisted for three more as I write, including two highly prestigious national awards.
So I’d like to say thank you and well done to those who have got us this far. But we are also conscious that this is not the time to rest on our laurels. We have big ambitions to grow and we are already scoping out and pacing the route ahead.