Coronavirus Update 31 March 2020

Until today The Big Lemon has maintained a full timetable in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis in order to enable staff working at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital and local pharmacies, grocers and supermarkets to get to work, look after everyone, and make sure people have enough food.

We have also been conscious that many of our passengers are elderly and live on the outskirts of the city, and have no access to private vehicles. The waiting list for supermarket deliveries as been 2-3 weeks.

Our driver Wayne ready for action

As the Coronavirus crisis has worsened, it has been harder and harder to maintain services. A number of our team are now self-isolating or working from home, our maintenance workshop has closed, our suppliers have almost all closed too, and sometimes the drivers are lucky to have one passenger all day.

In light of this, and in consultation with Brighton & Hove City Council, we have decided to focus our efforts on essential services only. We will continue to serve all areas, but at a much-reduced level of service. Changes will be brought in tomorrow, 1st April 2020 (and no, sadly this is not a joke…!)

Key changes are as follows:

  • There will no longer be a dedicated 16 service. Instead, journeys on service 47 towards Sainsbury’s will continue to Portslade Health Centre, Boundary Road and Portslade Station.
  • Services 47 and 52 will run most (but not all) journeys from the beginning of the day until about 11.45am. There will then be a break until about 3pm, when services will resume, at a slightly lower frequency, until the end of the day. We have prioritised the morning and evening peaks as that is when our remaining passengers need us most.
  • Sunday services on Route 57 will operate two hourly throughout the day.
Jordan cleaning The Big Lemon bus during the Coronavirus outbreak
We will continue our daily deep-cleaning programme throughout this period

New Timetables from 1 April 2020:

Click here for new 47 Timetable

Click here for new 52 Timetable

Click here for new 57 Timetable

These timetables are designed to be temporary measures only while we are in the grip of the Coronavirus. As soon as we see happier times and social distancing measures are relaxed it is envisaged that we will return to the previous schedules.

Founder and CEO, Tom Druitt, said

“It’s been a pretty crazy time and I’d like to thank our team for doing an amazing job keeping a full service going while the world is quite literally falling apart around us. I sincerely hope these measures that we have had to bring in will be temporary, and I look forward to resuming a full service as soon as we are through this period and social distancing measures are relaxed.

I would like to wish all our passengers and friends the best of health in these worrying times and look forward to seeing you again on the buses very soon.

PS: Our friends at Brighton & Hove Community Transport have set up a new Food Delivery Service to help people self-isolating in Brighton & Hove get food and basic essentials.

You do not need to be a member of Community Transport already, and you do not need to be classed as vulnerable to use the service – it is for everyone. Click here for further information

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