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London Transport
Country Area Routes 420–429

South of the Thames

Last updated 07-06-06.


Route 420 was a very short—almost town—working between Woking and West Byfleet Station serving the Sheerwater intermediate housing estate on the way. It was a double decker route until 1972 when the RTs and RMCs gave way to one-man-operated single deckers. This route’s “home” (Addlestone Garage [WY]) also sometimes used low-height RLHs on the 420 until their demise in 1970. With a route mileage of not more than four miles, which did not change, this heavy plate with large numbers might well be fairly old.

Route 420 ran between Leatherhead Station and Boxhill (Greenacres) via Headley Court and Pebblecombe. A few rush hour journeys ran beyond Leatherhead to Oxshott to supplement route 416.

A more recent Route 422 ran between Sutton and Redhill via Belmont, Banstead, Burgh Heath and Lower Kingswood.

This plate will be exceptionally rare as it would have been produced for a single bus stop at a terminus.


A green RT on the 423 at Dartford, en route to Swanley on a 1970 summer Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy dublo19

Route 423 is a long-established route in Kent, originally running daily in London Transport days between Wrotham and Longfield via West Kingsdown, Farningham, Swanley, Dartford and Green Street Green. The route later passed to London Country Bus Services, then to Kentish Bus and is now operated by Arriva Kent Thameside, running from Dartford via Bluewater and Longfield to New Ash Green. Thanks to the support of Kent County Council, it even still runs on Sundays!

Route 423A generally provided just a few rush hour journeys at factory break times between Watchgate and Wells Factory via Dartford and Joyce Green. The trip up to Wells Factory was a fascinating run as buses brushed the hedges along the way and reversed to run round at the end of the route, from where the workers at the factory would disappear into the distance. The 423A was latterly operated by downgraded RMC Routemaster coaches.


424 424

Route 424 ran daily between East Grinstead (Stone Quarry Estate) and Reigate Station via Felbridge, Crawley Down, Copthorne, Smallfield, Horley, Hookwood, Sidlow and Woodhatch. Some journeys ran via Snow Hill instead of Crawley Down, and most journeys also ran via Irons Bottom.

The first “E” plate is one of the very early post-war ones without the black line at the top and bottom. These plates were fitted into the older flat bus stop flags which also had horizontal cross bars and thus the top and bottom edges were hidden. However, they required a great deal of dismantling to change and hence the modern style was devised with the black top and bottom edging and which could simply be dropped into the runners. Note also that the numerals are also in an unusual, slightly condensed style.

Route 425 ran daily between Guildford and Dorking via Shalford, Chilworth, Albury, Shere Gomshall, Abinger Hammer, Wotton and Westcott. This was another picturesque route running through Surrey villages.



Route 426 was a relatively infrequent circular service from Crawley run via Tinsley Green, Three Bridges, Horley, Povey Cross, Charlwood, Ifield and West Green back to Crawley. At Crawley Bus Station buses would run in both directions so this plate was for the stop for buses running anticlockwise. Over the years the route hardly changed at all, so this plate is exceptionally old which accounts for the weathering.

Route 426A was a local service in Crawley and ran daily between Ifield Station and Pound Hill via Ifield Parade, West Green, Crawley town centre and Three Bridges.



Route 427 ran between Woking Station and Addlestone via Maybury Inn, Pyrford, West Byfleet, Byfleet and New Haw.

Route 428 was a long-establisged route that ran between East Grinstead (Bus Station) and Dormansland (Plough) via Baldwins Hill, Felcourt and Lingfield. In the ’70s it was often worked by XA and XF class double-deckers.

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Click on any of the tiles below to go to images of the “E” plates and the route descriptions for that number series.