Green bus operator is planning for UK zero-emissions transport

A Big Lemon bus in Brighton. Photo by Matt Davis
A Big Lemon bus in Brighton. Photo by Matt Davis

A popular Brighton-based environmentally-friendly bus and coach operator, has outlined ambitious plans for a UK-wide network of zero-emissions transport

The Big Lemon, which has run its distinctive cooking-oil operated buses in Brighton for ten years, has unveiled its 2030 Vision for the future.

The company hopes that by 2030 every community in the UK has access to affordable, sustainable transport, using zero-emissions vehicles powered by renewable energy and owned by the local community.

CEO Tom Druitt said: “From humble beginnings with three old buses and a van full of biodiesel, lubricants and spare parts in a lorry park next to Shoreham Harbour, we now have our own base at Black Rock, with seven coaches, two little buses and a minibus working four daily bus services in Brighton and Hove as well as private coach hire, music festival coaches and Sunday walks.

“Until now we have run our fleet of buses and coaches on recycled waste cooking oil collected from local restaurants. With carbon savings of approximately 85 per cent compared with diesel.

“Last year The Big Lemon took its first step towards electric vehicles, raising £250,000 from the local community to invest in electric buses, and a further £25,000 for solar panels to provide the electricity.

“As work continues to get the buses, and the roof, ready for a launch at the end of April, the team are also busy trying to work out what sustainable transport might look like in 2030.”

Big Lemon is working with Brighton design house We are AFK, and are looking at the kind of shared transport models that might be popular in 2030, and designing a community-focused, environmentally-friendly version.

It must use zero-emissions vehicles, powered by renewable energy and owned by the local community.

Tom Druitt continued: “The Big Lemon is creating a national network of social businesses, with shared values and a common purpose, to enable everyone to get around their communities in an environmentally-sustainable way.

“The primary function of the network is to help communities across the country set up their own social enterprises using a similar model, training and coaching those teams, and providing back-office support to give them the best possible chance of success.”

The Big Lemon is also currently recruiting a new managing director for its Brighton and Hove business.