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'Save the Big Lemon' campaign rallies record support as petition signatures surge

The Big Lemon founder, Tom Druitt (left), and Hove MP Mike Weatherley, call on more support to ensure fair competition between Brighton's bus services

The Big Lemon campaign is going from strength to strength as students and other Brighton residents rally up their support for the environmentally friendly bus service.

The petition, launched on 8 March by Radio Free Brighton’s Jackie Chase, is pushing for Brighton and Hove City Council to ensure fair competition between its bus services. To date, it has received more than 1,750 signatures, making it the Council’s biggest petition in the last year.

Last week the Badger revealed that the Big Lemon could be squeezed out of business due to competitive pricing from Brighton and Hove buses. This issue was raised by Hove MP Mike Weatherley, who called the BH equivalent pricing a “hostile campaign”.

The petition describes the Big Lemon as “a real social enterprise”, causing less damage to the environment through its use of recycling waste cooking oil for fuel. It urges the council to:

  1. Ensure all bus operators in the city compete in a fair and legal manner, and refer unfair or illegal competitive behaviour to the Office of Fair Trading
  2. Ensure passage of information from the City Council to the public is unbiased and consistent for all bus operators
  3. Open up the City Council’s Quality Bus Partnership agreement to all operators within the City
  4. Take steps to establish a multi-operator ticketing system using new powers under the Local Transport Act 2008, as has been done in Oxford
  5. Ensure smaller operators are not at a disadvantage when applying for Council contracts due to the level of resources at their disposal.

The petition will continue until 7 July when it will then be sent to the Environment Cabinet Member Meeting on 21 July to be examined by Council.

The popular night club Life in Brighton is holding a special event called Lemon Aid on Wednesday 23 March to raise funds for the campaign. Entry is £5/£4 NUS/£3.50 if you’re wearing yellow.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

You can also show your support by visiting the Facebook page or following the campaign on Twitter.

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