Tom Druitt, The Big Lemon’s founder and CEO said “I would like to thank Norman for his huge contribution to The Big Lemon this last year. He has taken the organisation to the next level and we now have the opportunity to grow our impact far beyond what was previously possible. I wish Norman all the very best of luck in his future endeavours.”
There are a few seats left on our fun day trip to the wonderful Chichester Christmas Market, on Saturday 9 December 2017.
It’s a great opportunity to find a range of carefully selected top quality crafts and unusual, individual and top quality gifts for all your friends and family. And it’s perfectly timed for Christmas!
Over 60 festive stalls will be on display in the pedestrianised areas of North Street and East Street, with The Cross as the central point.
Travel in style with us to this popular Sussex event, on a guaranteed seat on one of our super comfy coaches with one of our friendly drivers.
- Longridge Avenue A259, Saltdean – 08:30
- Rottingdean White Horse – 08:35
- Brighton Old Steine Stop S – 08:50
- Hove Town Hall Stop D – 09:05
- Shoreham High Street – 09:20
Book your seats here.
The Big Lemon has a reputation for a friendly personal service and we always look for the most cheerful friendly drivers to drive our buses!
We have vacancies for full time drivers, and some part-time drivers, on local bus services. Drivers ideally must be over 25 years of age with two years driving experience. A manual PCV licence is essential.
Salary: £11.10 per hour starting salary, rising to £11.50 after 3 months
Hours: 39 hour per week – overtime available
We offer a workplace pension scheme, full uniform, staff bus pass valid on the whole network, free lunches and the chance to be part of a great team that won the The Award for Best Place to Work in Brighton & Hove at the Brighton & Hove Business Awards in 2016.
Our now Coach Services Manager explains in a nutshell why it’s great to work here:
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.
Our new solar-powered bus got a tremendous reception when we had our official launch on Friday 28th April, at our depot in East Brighton:
We were joined by a great number of friends and supporters, and local elected representatives, including the city’s mayor, Pete West:
The media were there in force too, and we were especially pleased to have ITV Meridian along, whose coverage can be accessed here.
The specialist press was also present, and here you can see the extensive piece published by Bus And Coach Buyer.
There was a chance for everyone who turned up to have a ride on the bus and everyone seemed impressed. The interior has been tastefully refurbished and is unrecognisable from the vehicle as it had been. As for the drive, people expecting a milk float (as some still do from electric vehicles) were surprised by both the smooth ride and the impressive acceleration.
The bus is now undergoing trials and awaiting formal clearance to operate as a passenger-carrying vehicle.
There was also a chance to be shot up in the air in a cherry-picker to see the new solar panels that are on the depot roof and that power our new buses, and to have a tour of the depot led by our CEO Tom Druitt.
The bus used to be a regular diesel bus, and has been converted to a 133 kWh electric bus by Magtec in Sheffield. It is powered by a 21kW solar array on the roof of the bus depot, installed by Brighton Energy Coop and part-funded by Viper IT Solutions, Infinity Foods and Buddies Cafe as part of our M&S Energy crowdfunding campaign last autumn.
The party was held at Dotties Cafe, a wonderful social enterprise cafe in East Brighton Park, with fabulous food kindly provided by Higgidy Pies and lemon based cakes and vegan curry from Real Junk Food Project, a fantastic collection of craft beers from Crafted Crate, “Lemony lemonade” from Karma Cola and local award-winning gin from Brighton Gin. Thanks guys, what a treat!