Stagecoach South launches new Surrey County Council route

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Pictured launching the service are Stagecoach South Marketing Officer Steve Thorpe and Peter Osborn from The London Bus Museum

Stagecoach South has launched a new service – number 715 from Guildford to Kingston upon Thames, via Ripley, Cobham & Esher, operated on behalf of Surrey County Council.

To mark the start of the new service, some journeys on Saturday, December 31, 2016, were run using a historic double-decker Routemaster that previously operated the former Green Line route 715 during the 1960s.

Stagecoach South Managing Director, Edward Hodgson, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new service within Surrey.

“We have a strong track record of attracting more people to bus travel and we will continue to focus on providing good value, high-quality services for people in the area.”

The vintage bus journeys will be provided by preserved Routemaster RMC1461 (registration 461 CLT) which was delivered new to London Transport in August 1962. The RMC class was a coach version of the famous ‘Red London bus’ for use on longer distance Green Line routes.

RMCs featured modified suspension and interiors to allow a longer range and more comfortable running. They were also fitted with fewer seats than their red counterparts for extra legroom, using deeper cushioning for comfort, and had an electrically operated rear door instead of an open platform.

Edward added: “We are grateful to London Bus Museum at Brooklands for providing their Routemaster bus for our launch day. It is important to be proud of our heritage.

“A very large number of our customers have never been on a bus where a conductor comes around and hands you a ticket, but that is what buses were like and it shows passengers how things used to be and just how much bus travel has evolved.”
Stagecoach has been working with Surrey County Council to maintain a service between Guildford and Kingston which was otherwise in danger of disappearing, following some contractual changes to a number of bus routes within the county.