Our new bus services..

Yesterday was perhaps the most challenging day ever for The Big Lemon. On Saturday we had been running one route, the 52. On Monday we added the 47, 57, 16, 16A, 66, 56, and 56E.

What’s more, because of circumstances beyond our control, we had less than two weeks to get everything in place. That has meant, amongst many other things, recruiting ten new drivers, and sourcing buses to run the routes.

So don’t be surprised if you see some London double deckers around Brighton for a few weeks until we can get some new yellow buses out on the road! Please look out for the bus service number and destination on the front of the buses.

The short time we have had to get ready also means that Brighton and Hove Buses have not had the chance to put the new timetables up at bus stops across the city, so many people understandably will not have been aware of the new times and even routes which came into force.

On top of everything yesterday, we, along with all other bus companies, faced massive delays because of the closure of North Street for road works. This meant a good deal of late running which is not acceptable. If the road works continue to cause delays, we may have to turn buses round before their terminus, as Brighton and Hove Buses sometimes do. If we have to do this, we will use social media to try to keep people informed.

I am very grateful for the patience of our passengers as we bed down in these very challenging circumstances. I am also grateful to our drivers and the rest of our team who have worked long hours over the last week to get the show on the road.

Our website www.thebiglemon.com has all the new timetables.

10 thoughts on “Our new bus services..

  1. Veronica An

    The 47 bus route has been terrible to say the least since being taken over, myself and a lot of other people have stopped using 47 as can’t trust its going to turn up on time or if at all . We have to walk to coast road to catch alternative busses, that is ok for people that are able , but I know of lots of elderly people who can’t go out without this bus . It’s such a shame as you are a great company. With all you stand for and the office staff are so lovely and helpful, would be a good idea to be able to contact all your drivers via radio, so if they phone your office you can let people know if the bus is going to turn up after waiting an hour !!!!!!

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    1. biglemonnorman

      I am sorry to read of your experiences. As you may know, we had to take over the 47 and 57 routes (and others) at less than two weeks’ notice so it was huge challenge to source buses and drivers and do everything else necessary. Unfortunately the only buses we could get at no notice were London double deckers which proved very unreliable. We are replacing these this week with single deckers. In addition we have had to deal with the closure of North Street, which has affected all bus routes.

      As an interim measure we are asking our drivers to ring in every couple of hours so we know how things are on the ground. We intend in the not too distant future to install GPS in all our buses both so we will know where they are, and so that information will flash up at bus stops.

      I am pleased to say that both our buses on the route are today running on time, and I hope this will be your experience next time you try to catch one.

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  2. J TOMPSON

    I live at the top of Bannings Vale in East saltdean. As you know, you have just taken over the 47 and 57 routes which are hourly. I have tried to use your service firstly, on Wednesday the 27th September from Brighton Marina when I got to the stop at 20 to 4 and waited until 5 05. The bus failed to arrive and I had to get a taxi costing £14. Today, Sunday 1st October my son visited me with his 4 year old child, went to the bus stop in good time at 3 15 and once again the bus failed to arrive, he waited until 3 40 then had to walk over to catch the 27 in Longridge Avenue in the rain. I have broken my ankle in three places so am unable to walk far. This service is essential to the people in East Saltdean as there is a large elderly population. I am therefore very disappointed in the service so far and would be pleased to receive your assurance that an improvement will be made.

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    1. biglemonnorman

      Dear Jackie Tompson

      I am sorry to read of your experiences. As you may know, we had to take over the 47 and 57 routes (and others) at less than two weeks’ notice so it was huge challenge to source buses and drivers and do everything else necessary. Unfortunately the only buses we could get at no notice were London double deckers which proved very unreliable. We are replacing these this week with single deckers. In addition we have had to deal with the closure of North Street, which has affected all bus routes.

      I am pleased to say that both our buses on the route are today running on time, and I hope this will be your experience next time you try to catch one.

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  3. What happened to the 47/57 in town this morning. I waited at the clock tower stop from 12.20 until 12.45 when gave up and got on the 27 which involves a walk up a very steep hill!! This is not so,bad when not carrying anything but today I had two really heavy items as well. Can you tell me whether the 12.24 bus ran or not or was it just really late? I don’t think the roadworks can be blamed any longer except perhaps in the rush hour as I came into town on 27 and there was no hold up there whatsoever. Have been unable to rely on this service in the last two weeks so now don’t bother to go to 47 stop just have to walk down further to 27 or to coast road. Could you give some idea when the service might start being okay?
    And not the stock reply above please ….that looks like an automated computer reply!!!

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    1. biglemonnorman

      Yesterday in a freak event, both buses on the route broke down almost simultaneously at different points on the route with different faults. Our mechanics left our depot immediately and were able to get both buses operational again. I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused.

      All our buses are checked every morning by the driver who is due to take it out well in advance of leaving the depot so any faults can be identified and remedied or an alternative vehicle sent out. In addition, we operate a rigorous detailed 4-week inspection of every vehicle, a much higher frequency than the law requires. We also have mechanics on hand to attend to any breakdown immediately.

      One problem at the moment, having just started the service and having had to obtain buses at very short notice, is that they do not yet have GPS equipment that allows us to tell from the depot exactly where any bus is and obviously drivers cannot use their phones while driving. We are therefore not always able to answer calls that come in with total accuracy. It is our intention to ensure every bus we run is fitted with GPS equipment as soon as we can.

      In terms of going forward, we have now been able to replace the temporary double deckers we had to use and the service had been more reliable since they went until yesterday’s freak events. I am happy to say the service seems to be running well today.

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  4. Paula

    Just wondering how, even if they are running late after two hours of waiting their should have at least been 2 LATE buses. However it has been a case of NO buses. I have had to take taxis on 2 occasions due to having to wait over 2 hours for a bus that is never going to show up at all. Despite on both occasions i phoned several times to ask about the situation I was told “a bus willl be along soon” when clearly no bus was even on it’s way. When people at the stop ask me what bus am I waiting for and I say the 47 they say “good luck”!

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    1. biglemonnorman

      Yesterday in a freak event, both buses on the route broke down almost simultaneously at different points on the route with different faults. Our mechanics left our depot immediately and were able to get both buses operational again. I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused.

      All our buses are checked every morning by the driver who is due to take it out well in advance of leaving the depot so any faults can be identified and remedied or an alternative vehicle sent out. In addition, we operate a rigorous detailed 4-week inspection of every vehicle, a much higher frequency than the law requires. We also have mechanics on hand to attend to any breakdown immediately.

      One problem at the moment, having just started the service and having had to obtain buses at very short notice, is that they do not yet have GPS equipment that allows us to tell from the depot exactly where any bus is and obviously drivers cannot use their phones while driving. We are therefore not always able to answer calls that come in with total accuracy. It is our intention to ensure every bus we run is fitted with GPS equipment as soon as we can.

      Like

  5. Les Gale

    Your website is terrible to work!

    I have been trying to find a TIMETABLE for the WEEKDAY route 57. There isn’t one!
    When i click on the relevant paths to take me there it always takes me to the OLD SUNDAY ONLY 57 SERVICE.

    I live in Ovingdean and need to be in town by 8:40. The OLD route 52 used to get me there. How do I do that now, please?

    On my return, I used to get a 52 from St James Street at 17:30. It doesn’t run now! How do I get home?

    That is why I need the NEW TIMETABLE for the WEEKDAY 57. You have now had plenty of time to update this.

    I am disabled so cannot walk far.

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    1. biglemonnorman

      Hello Les and thanks for your enquiry.

      The 57 service through Ovingdean on weekdays is included in the 47 timetable as it is a variation of that. There are four 57 buses a day through the village to Brighton station and the number of 52 services to and from the station has been increased too.

      The through services that go past the hospital through to the station are at these times:

      06.30 (52) 07.50 (52) 10.49 (57) 12.49 (57) 14.49 (57) 16.49 (57) 17.22 (52) and 18.42 (52)

      There are hourly services throughout the day on the 52 to the hospital, which is an improvement on the 90 minute frequency that used to be in place before. These provide easy interchange at the marina or hospital onto other buses to the city centre.

      In terms of the times you want to travel, there are buses out at 07.50 on the 52 or 09.08 on the 52. In terms of the return journey, there is a 52 from St James’s Street at 18.00. I recognise these new times might be inconvenient for you so I am sorry if that is the case. We are collecting comments about the timetable and will be aiming to tweak it later this year. One of my objectives is to make this 18.00 bus earlier.

      I hope this is helpful

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