The Big Lemon asks for community investment for electric buses

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Brighton-based The Big Lemon has asked for community help in order to purchase electric buses.

Since the operation was launched in 2007, over a million passenger journeys have been made, utilising over half a million litres of waste cooking oil to cut CO2 emissions.

In 2016 the operator aims to run bus services on electricity from renewable sources, resulting in no emissions and no carbon footprint.

The Big Lemon’s routes include North Street (B2066) which is one of the busiest routes in the UK with nearly all (97%) of the city’s bus routes passing along this road. North Street to Western Road has the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in Sussex and currently exceeds the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions.

The Big Lemon has applied for a government grant to help raise the money to buy three electric buses, but in order to get its first one it needs to raise £100,000 itself. The company has therefore released 1,000 community bonds at £100 each to enable it to reach that target.

The £100 community bonds have an interest rate of 6% per annum, which means people who invest £100 should receive £112.36 in two years’ time.

Managing Director, Tom Druitt, said “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business model. The Big Lemon is owned by members of the community and we are asking local people to get on board and invest in this project, to improve air quality in the city and make a healthy profit on your investment at the same time.”

The closing date for applications for the bonds is February 29, 2016.