RLH Surrey Routes

Routes map

This network of routes was operated, or partly operated, by RLHs based at the Country area Addlestone (WY) and Guildford (GF) garages.

Route number Garage Route Miles Low-
Dates of Operation Peak
408A Guildford/Addlestone (GF/WY) Guildford - Merrow 2.7 m High ??? ???
415 Guildford (GF) Guildford - Burntcommon - Ripley (- Ockham) 5.8 m High 10/1952 - 10/1958 2
420 Addlestone (WY) Woking - Sheerwater - West Byfleet 3.0 m High 14/10/1959 - 31/07/1970 1. Including some school journeys
436 Guildford/Addlestone (GF/WY) Staines - Chertsey - Addlestone - New Haw - Woking - Send - Burntcommon - Burpham - Guildford
Timetable from 1965
18.3 m Low (Staines, Woking Stn) 06/1950 - 31/07/1970 3
436A Addlestone (WY) Staines - Chertsey - Addlestone - New Haw - Woking - Send - Sendmarsh - Ripley
Timetable from 1965
15.4 m Low (Staines, Woking Stn) 09/1950 - 31/07/1970 3
461 Addlestone (WY) Staines - Chertsey - Addlestone - Weybridge - Walton
Timetable from 1965
8.7 m Low (Staines) 06/1950 - 31/07/1970 2
461A Guildford/Addlestone (GF/WY) Chertsey (Botleys Park/ St. Peter's Hospital) - Ottershaw - Addlestone - Weybridge - Walton 6.8 m High 09/1950 - 30/06/65 0?
462 Addlestone (WY) Staines - Chertsey - Addlestone - Weybridge - Vickers Works - Cobham - Leatherhead (RLHs ran only Chertsey - Vickers Works - Weybridge Stn/Hospital) ?? m High (RLH section) ??? RLHs ran peak works journeys only
462B Addlestone (WY) Walton - Vickers Works ?? m High ??? Peak journeys only
462C Addlestone (WY) Ottershaw - Addlestone - Weybridge - Vickers/BAC Works ?? m High c1960s ??? works journeys
463 Guildford/Addlestone (GF/WY) Walton - Weybridge - Addlestone - Sheerwater - Woking - Send - Burntcommon - West Clandon - Merrow - Guildford 18.1 m Low (Woking Stn) 06/1950 - 31/07/1970 ???
463A Addlestone (WY) Walton - (???) - Ripley ?? m Low? ??? - 2/10/1955 Sunday PM Only - ???
Green Line 715 GF/WY Guildford - Oxford Circus - Hertford. RLHs on Coronation Day only to London. ?? m High ??? Coronation Day Only
Green Line 716 GF/WY Woking/ Chertsey - Victoria - Hitchin. RLHs on Coronation Day only to London. ?? m High ??? Coronation Day Only
Green Line 725 Addlestone (WY) Windsor - Dartford / Gravesend. RLHs Windsor - West Croydon only. ?? m Low- Worc Pk 1954-1956 Summer Sundays only


These Surrey routes encompassed two garages, Addlestone and Guildford. They have been covered together because they were both on the line of common routes.

A graph showing the allocation of buses between Guildford and Addlestone, with time, can be viewed here.

Addlestone Garage (and Weymann Sites)

After the formation of London Transport in 1933, in December 1934, all Green Line and Country Bus Garages were coded. WY was allocated as the Weymann parking area was alongside the river Wey (it is not clear whether WY stood for WeYmann's or River WeY).

London Transport applied for planning permission to build a garage in Windsor Street, Chertsey with a view to housing the Green Lines and Country buses there and moving out of Weymann's site. (There was a lot of dead mileage running from the Weymann site to Chertsey for the start of the Green Line London service). Anyway, planning permission for the garage in Chertsey was refused - perhaps because of the complaints from local residents.

This delayed the project and LT decided to continue to use Addlestone for their garage site and applied for planning for a bus garage there. Eventually this was built on the site opposite the Co-op and it opened on 30th June 1936. As all the vehicles were transferred less than a mile from the Weymann site to the new garage, it retained the same code - WY.

Green Line Coaches Ltd started a service from Chertsey (via Weybridge Kingston) to London Charing Cross on 11th October 1930. As a temporary measure, the coaches were parked on the main Weymanns site at Addlestone (since demolished, and now the site of Aviator Park). Weymanns also had another factory on the Industrial Estate beside the river Wey between Addlestone town and Weybridge - parked Green Lines were moved to this site at some stage.

Co-incidentally, all RLH bodies were built very close by Addlestone garage at the Weymann works (in 1950 or 1952).

LT's Addlestone bus garage closed when the last London Country vehicle (a Heathrow Express Green Line) returned at 2.30 am on Saturday 26th July 1997. It was demolished and the site is now occupied by Gleeson Mews. A small part of low wall still remains dividing the forecourt from the adjacent premises.

Five RLHs

Guildford Garage

Guildford bus garage (code GF) was opened in 1932 and is still in use at the time of writing (2020) with Arriva.

Routes Timeline

1950 - 8 first batch RLHs (7-14), painted in country green colours, were allocated to Addlestone from new in July/August, displacing all the STL types there. The RLHs were used to pass under the lowbridge in Staines for routes 436 (Staines - Woking) and 461 (Staines - Walton). They were also used to pass under the lowbridge in Woking on route 463 (Woking - Guildford).

From September 27th of that year, there was a large expansion in lowbridge double decker requirements, due to a re-organization of routes south of Woking previously worked by single deckers. A total of 18 buses were then needed, which meant 12 'Godstone' STLs operated (from Guildford garage aswell as Addlestone) along with the RLHs. Details of the changes were:

1953 - by the start of the year, of the green second batch of newly delivered RLHs (21-52), seven had been sent to Addlestone garage (making a total of 15 RLHs there) and eight to Guildford garage, replacing STs and STLs. Since there was now, for the first time, a surplus of lowbridge buses, RLHs took over from RTs on route 415 even though it did not contain any low bridges. East of Woking, routes 436 and 436A were diverted to serve the new Sheerwater estate (but route 463 continued to run on the more northerly old route).

1954 - some weekday journeys on the 415 were extended to the village of Ockham, east of Ripley.

1955 - approval was given to the operation of lowbridge vehicles between Windsor and West Croydon on Green Line route 725, which passed under the Worcester Park bridge. Staines Garage borrowed RLHs from Addlestone from time to time at weekends for this purpose. Route 463A replaced by the extension of the Staines - Woking shorts of 436 to Ripley as 436A. The Guildford allocation was reduced in size, from eight to around six.

1959 - RLHs start working route 420.

1965 - route 461A converted to RT operation, meaning a drop in the Addlestone allocation of RLHs from 15 to 11. Total number of RLHs now scheduled in the Country area on Mondays-Fridays now only 16.

1970 - 17 RLHs were transferred to new owner London Country Bus Services on the first day of the year. 'London Country' gradually began to replace the 'London Transport' as the fleet name written on the sides. The last day of RLH service was the 31st July. By the start of the evening, most RLHs had been taken off for ferrying to Garston for storage. RLH 35 was to work the last run, starting from Guildford. By the time it had reached the Dukes Head pub at Addlestone there were many streamers, and it arrived at Addlestone depot at 2309. However, this was not to be the last journey - some late runs on route 461A were operated by RLH 44 between Ottershaw and Walton; that bus finally arrived at Addlestone Garage at 2317 from Walton. An event in August 2010 called RLH40 commemorates this occasion. The RLHs were mostly replaced by Swift type buses.

RLH 24


Mr B. Gentle writes; "I was at Woking Grammar school, when it still existed, from 1965 to 1972 and travelled every school day from New Haw to Woking station. It's funny, but you don't appreciate what you get all the time. In fact we didn't like travelling on the RLHs that much: they were cramped and incredibly steamy on wet days. If there was an RT coming by on the 420 we would go for that, as RTs were a novelty on our patch: the RLHs were just ordinary. The service in those days was appalling too. Especially in the afternoon, going home, the buses were often cancelled due to lack of crews. Often 2 or 3 in a row didn't come, and you can imagine the queues at Commercial Road!"

Mr M. Carney writes about Growing Up with Green RLHs in Chertsey.

RLH 36


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