Brighton & Hove’s favourite eco bus company The Big Lemon has joined forces with another local bus operator Seaford & District to create an international coach operator called Brighton Horizon Coaches. The new brand launched today at a special ceremony at the Peace Statue on Brighton & Hove’s seafront.
The Big Lemon first entered the coach industry by chance, when in early 2008 someone asked if they could hire a Big Lemon bus for a day trip to London. The trip went ahead, and the company was soon doing regular trips and later that year bought a coach to dedicate to private hire full time. Since then the coach fleet has grown to seven vehicles and services include school and college services, private coach hire, festival coaches, day trips, sports fixtures, airport transfers and rail replacement coaches.
In recent years The Big Lemon has invested heavily in the fleet, which has transformed from a rather aged fleet to one with modern luxury coaches, including two fully wheelchair-accessible coaches. The tie-up with Seaford & District will make the new company Brighton & Hove’s largest coach operator with a fleet of 11 coaches; with four fully wheelchair-accessible.
Founder and CEO Tom Druitt said
“The Big Lemon and Seaford & District have worked together for a number of years, helping each other out when needed and working together wherever possible to improve services to our passengers. We share many of the same values and at the end of the day both of us have always been 100% focused on our customers and providing them with the best possible experience. Seaford & District is run by real transport enthusiasts who care deeply about the quality of their work and I’m delighted that we have been able to work with them to create a new coach company that brings together the best of what we have to offer, with a combination of quality and innovation that’s truly unique in the local coach market.
“On a personal note, I’m incredibly proud of our Coach Manager Ryan Wrotny who joined us as a 13 year old boy having saved up his pocket money to buy a share in the company. He has worked hard ever since that day, first of all helping me wash buses and run the office, then training as a bus driver and driving our 52 bus for two years; and finally passing his Transport Managers’ Certificate of Professional Competence in International Passenger Transport and taking on the operation of our coach services. He has done a fantastic job, building new relationships, improving the fleet, and developing the team. Ryan will now lead the new company Brighton Horizon Coaches and has already shared with me some very exciting plans. I wish him the very best of luck and will always be here to support him.”
David Mulpeter, Managing Director of Seaford & District said
I am delighted that the new Brighton Horizon Coaches will carry on and grow further what we have built up over the last 5 years with our coaching side of the business here at Seaford and District . This restructure will enable Seaford and District to focus further on our nucleus of school , sightseeing and heritage Vehicle works streams.
This decision was not taken lightly and much thought was given to it but following personal circumstances of the sudden passing of my wife the time is right to pass the baton. I wish all the team at Brighton Horizon Coaches good luck for the future.”
Ryan Wrotny, the new Manager of Brighton Horizon Coaches said
“I’m very excited about this opportunity, bringing together the best of two well-known coach operators. My vision is to take the best of Brighton and expand to new horizons. I’m proud of my city and want to provide professional, reliable, luxury coach travel to its people, taking them to new places. I never want to stop growing, developing, and exploring, and I’m excited to have this opportunity to create something we can all be proud of.”
Brighton Horizon Coaches offers 29 seater and 49 seater vehicles with full air conditioning and is licenced to operate across the UK and Europe. We can be found on Facebook @brightonhorizoncoaches, Twitter @brightoncoaches and Instagram @brightonhorizoncoaches.
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