Electric dreams fulfilled for Brighton bus company

Tom Druitt behind the wheel of one of The Big Lemon's electric buses
Tom Druitt behind the wheel of one of The Big Lemon's electric buses

A city bus company is to run its entire public bus network on electric after successfully raising funds for three new buses.

The Big Lemon said its six bus services will all run on electric vehicles powered by solar panels by autumn.

After winning Government funding, The Big Lemon needed to raise £405,000 to purchase the new buses – bringing its total to six.

Last month it launched a bond offer to raise money for the new buses, and three weeks in, the target has been reached.

Tom Druitt, chief executive of The Big Lemon, said, “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who have invested in this project. It’s exciting to be on the verge of creating the UK’s first fully electric public bus network in Brighton & Hove and this will make a huge difference to air quality in the city.

“From a personal perspective the success of this campaign is very exciting as it shows that communities do not need big business or the banks to fund the improvements they so desperately need – people power can do it too.”

The Big Lemon runs the number 16, 47, 52, 56, 57 and 66 services, which include Portslade, Hangleton, Patcham, Hollingbury, Woodingdean, Ovingdean, Rottingdean and Saltdean, and provide connections to Seven Dials, Brighton Station, the city centre, London Road, Fiveways, Kemptown, the Hospital and Brighton Marina.

Mr Druitt said: “Because of the huge response we’ve had we’re extending our plans to cover one more bus which will enable us to ensure the network is fully electric even when a vehicle is having its four-weekly maintenance inspection.”

The company has now extended the target by another £135,000 to fund the extra bus. To find out more, visit: www.thebiglemon.com/electric

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