The Big Lemon was honoured last week to receive a visit from George Freeman MP, the Minister for the Future of Transport as part of his visit to Brighton & Hove to launch the “Clean Start to 2020” Go Ultra Low initiative.
The Minister was very keen to have a ride on one of The Big Lemon’s electric buses and visit the depot to meet the team and see the electric charging systems and solar roof in action.
He met with Tom Druitt, Founder and CEO, and Ron Tanner, Chair, as well as operational staff including Mark Bennett, Bus Services Manager, Kendal Saunders, the duty supervisor, and a number of members of the driving and office team.
The Minister was very keen to learn about The Big Lemon’s innovative business model and how social enterprises and local communities can be supported to run similar low-carbon bus services in communities across the country.
The Big Lemon team were delighted that the Minister had chosen to visit the company, and were very pleased to see him show such a genuine interest in innovative low-carbon solutions to the transport and health challenges faced by communities in the UK today.
Minister for the Future of Transport, George Freeman, said,
“The Big Lemon’s innovative approach to the traditional bus market is inspiring. From a solar powered depot, funded on a shoestring by community activists in Brighton, to their electric fleet, sustainability and community is at the heart of everything they do.
“From Brighton to Blackpool and Blyth, the bus sector needs innovative new entrants like this. That’s why we are supporting innovation in the bus sector through a £220 million funding boost for bus services across the country to drive growth across this vital sector.”
Founder and CEO, Tom Druitt, said,
“It was a real pleasure to show the Minister around our buses and depot, and introduce him to our team. It was a great boost for the team to see a government minister visit us and show such an interest in what we’re doing.
“The highlight for me was discussing with the Minister how the Government can create the right environment for innovative, community-based and low-carbon transport projects to thrive.”