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London Transport
Green Line Coach Routes 724–799

Last updated 08-08-06.

724 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT STAINES

Green Line coach 724 ran from Romford to Staines via Abridge, Epping, Harlow, Hertford, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, St. Albans, Watford, Rickmansworth, Uxbridge and Heathrow Airport. It had previously ran to High Wycombe instead of Staines, but was rerouted in the early ’70s with the growth of travel to Heathrow Airport. The 724 survives as the last remnant of the “’round-London” routes introduced in the 1950’s (725, later 725/726: Gravesend–Windsor; now X26 Croydon–Heathrow) and 1960 (724 and 727: Luton–Heathrow–Crawley).It was operated by RF coaches, and subsequently RPs and latterly Leyland Nationals. It was once a major link and remains alive and well, operating daily with coaches hourly (2-hourly on Sundays) between Harlow and Heathrow. (Thanks to Matthew Keyte for the additional information.)


Route 725 ran between Gravesend (Clock Tower) and Windsor Bus Station, but—unlike most Green Line coach routes which ran though central London—took a circular routing via Northfleet, Dartford, Bexley, Sidcup, Chislehurst, Bromley, Beckenham, Croydon, Wallington, Sutton, Cheam, Worcester Park, Kingston, Hampton Court, Sunbury, Ashford, Staines, Egham and Englefield Green. The route was worked from Northfleet [NF] and Windsor [WR] garages.

This “E” plate came from an eastbound stop somewhere in the west half of the route.

725 CROYDON BROMLEY GRAVESEND

726

Route 726 was originally a summer-only route which ran between Romford and Whipsnade Zoo via Chadwell Heath, Ilford, Stratford, Aldgate, Baker Street, Finchley, Golders Green, Barnet and St, Albans. In the early ’60s it was extended in the east to Harold Hill Estate for a few summers. By 1964 it had become a limited stop service runing via the M1 and Edgware instead of St. Albans and Barnet, but nonetheless could not compete with the private motorcar and disappeared before the end of the decade.

The 726 was re-introduced in the late ’70s as part of the 725 rerouted via Heathrow Airport. It ran from Gravesend to Windsor with route 725 via Northfleet, Dartford, Bexley, Sidcup, Chislehurst, Bromley, Beckenham, Croydon, Wallington, Sutton, Cheam, Worcester Park, Kingston and Hampton Court, then diverted via Feltham, Heathrow Airport and Slough.

I believe “E” plates for the newer 726 (with white instead of cream numbers) are rather uncommon, as the route was reintroduced at a time when “E” plates were being phased out.


During the revamp of the network in the ’70s and ’80s route 726 was proposed for withdrawal. However, the majority of the route—now withdrawn between Dartford and Gravesend and between Heathrow Airport and Windsor—ran within Greater London, and London Transport decided to put the route out to tender and retain its operation within the London area, still retaining the established “Green Line” marketing name. It became operated by Luton & District and ran daily between Dartford and Heathrow Airport via Bexley, Sidcup, Chislehurst, Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Kingston, Hampton Court, Feltham and Hatton Cross. The route has since been progressively cut back to Bromley and more recently was curtailed at Croydon, and now remains as route X26 between Croydon and Heathrow Airport, rerouted away from Hampton Court. The 726 was the only Green Line route put out to tender by London Transport, and was the only route to have special vinyl “E” plate stickers made for it.

GREEN LINE 726 DAILY

739

Route 739 was a short-lived special service introduced in April 1978 upon the demise of Green Line route 719, running between Victoria and Brands Hatch only for motor race meetings. The plate appears to have been recycled since it has green vinyl numerals affixed to the white reverse of a route 292 “E” plate that was withdrawn in July 1973.

292 MON-FRI FARE STAGE

GREEN LINE 739 SPECIAL HOURNEYS ONLY739 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLYTwo possibilities of what this plate should have looked like, had they done it correctly. →


Routes 760 and 761 were introduced in the late ’70s after the network started to be revamped. These routes ran between Croydon and Crawley as express links for commuting and shopping, I believe.

The use of the usual style of Green Line “E” plates on green backgrounds had ceased at this time, hence the very unusual use of green lettering on a white background similar to the style used for Provincial operator’s “E” plates. This mode lasted only a short time on “E” plates, as they ceased to be made around 1980. Only a handful of routes saw Green Line plates in this style. However, had they followed normal practice the Green Line name should have been below the route numbers.

GREEN LINE 760 761
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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.