The Big Lemon rolls out on-demand bus in Hangleton

One of the new buses on the 16 route
One of the new buses on the 16 route

The Big Lemon will be driving into uncharted territory next week with the launch of a new-style flexible bus route.

The bus company will trial the service in Hangleton from Monday (April 29) on the number 16 bus route, operated by The Big Lemon.

Tom Druitt driving a Big Lemon bus

Tom Druitt driving a Big Lemon bus

The service will be available on demand from any bus stop in Hangleton and will run from 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday.

Initially the service will be called by telephone, but if the trial is successful there are plans to allow people to hail the bus through an app.

The service will run from Hangleton via the Knoll Estate to Portslade Station; and then return to Hangleton, dropping people off at any bus stop.

Tom Druitt, chief executive of The Big Lemon, said: “Buses are a lifeline for so many people and when services are lost many in our communities become isolated, lonely, and less independent.

“We are lucky in Brighton and Hove that there is a broad consensus on the importance of bus services and funding has been largely maintained. However the pressures on services are growing, and it is becoming more and more urgent to reduce reliance on subsidies to give services a sustainable future.

“The Big Lemon is always on the lookout for innovative solutions to solving transport problems and we hope that by offering a flexible service we can appeal to people who don’t currently use the buses.

“If successful, this could offer a solution to many of the areas where funding reductions have resulted in the loss of services, and also to areas where services are in danger due to insufficient use and reductions in funding.”

The new-style service comes as The Big Lemon is extending its 47 and 52 services offering new connections from Hangleton, the Knoll estate, Patcham, Hollingbury and Fiveways to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and Brighton Marina.

To find out more, visit: thebiglemon.com