London Transport
Country Area Routes 440–449

South of the Thames

Last updated 24-2-10.

Route 440 ran from Woldingham (The Ridge) to Salfords (Monotype) via Woldingham, Caterham, Chaldon Cross Roads, South Merstham, Redhill and Earlswood.

To the best of my knowledge, this “E” plate came from the southbound Caterham “Golden Lion” stop when the London Transport bullseye flags were replaced with standard London Country ones in the late ’70s.



Route 441 ran daily from Staines Central Station to High Wycombe via Pooley Green, Egham, Englefield Green, Old Windsor, Windsor, Slough, Salt Hill, Farnham Road, Hedgerley Corner, Beaconsfield, Holtspur, Loudwater and Wycombe Marsh. Part of the service was diverted at Hedgerley Corner to Hedgerley Village. Between Englefield Green and Windsor, buses ran either via Bells of Ouzeley or Fox & Castle.

I belive the destinated plate came from the vicinity of Windsor Road and Priest Hill (A308 & A328) in order to differentiate the two routeings—this one being for journeys via Straight Road (Bells of Ouzeley) rather than Burfield Road. I doubt that it would have come from High Wycombe, as an “E” plate posted there would most likely have read simply WINDSOR / STAINES.

Route 441C ran between Staines and Englefield Green (Cherrywood Avenue) via Pooley Green and Egham. In 1977 the service was renumbered 442 when it was converted from double deck crewed Routemasters to single deck one-person-operated Leyland Nationals.



In 1965 route 441D provided just two return school-day journeys on Mondays to Fridays between Staines Central Station and Virginia Water Station via Pooley Green, Egham and Englefield Green.

This “E” plate is notable as it is an example of the rather unusual “D” suffix which occurred only in the Country Area.

Colin Grafham writes: “High Wycombe Garage [HE] operated a local town circular route numbered 442, weekdays only (Monday-Saturday). The route was High Wycombe – Hatters Farm Estate – Hicks Farm Estate – Wycombe March – High Wycombe (this direction only) and ran basically hourly during the off-peak periods. I’m afraid I can’t at present find any dates when the route operated, but from memory it was certainly during the 1960s, being withdrawn around the mid 1970s.” It commenced operation with GS buses, but was soon converted to RF.

Paul Davis adds: “I do not have the start date, but it [the 442] was withdrawn after traffic 30 September 1977 when Wycombe garage closed and the route was renumbered 365. (I never saw a 365 ‘E’ plate after this change, and assumed there were never any made for the 365 in this area). On 1 October 1977 the number was transferred to Staines who renumbered 441C (Staines to Englefield Green) to 442.”

The later route 442 was the new number used for the 441C service between Staines Station and Englefield Green via Pooley Green and Egham when it was converted from RML (Routemaster) to LN (Leyland National) operation. Since this new route ran daily, these “E” plates must be from the High Wycombe area. 442 MON-SAT


Route 443 ran from Staines to Ascot via Egham and Virginia Water, but by 1968 it had been rerouted to run Staines–Virginia Water–Ascot Racecourse. The route was marked with an asterisk, indicating that it was a special service not shown on the map itself.

In the early 1980s a newer 443 ran from Staines to Uxbridge, however this plate dates from the earlier time since “E” plates had been replaced by vinyl stickers by that time.

Route 444 operated between Manor Park and Windsor via Stoke Poges Lane, Slough and Eton. It was withdrawn in 1958, replaced by the 446A.

In 1964 the number was reused for a new service from Staines (Bridge Street) to Stanwell Moor. It was withdrawn in 1977. Stanwell Moor is now served by Abellio Surrey’s (formerly Travel Surrey’s) route 441.



Route 446 ran daily between Slough Station and Farnham Road (George) via Whitby Road. In later years it became a circular route and served Wexham Park Hospital.

Route 446A was identical to route 446 except that it ran via Manor Park instead of Whitby Road. In later years it became a circular route serving Wexham Park Hospital.



Route 446B prodived a peak hour service between Windsor (Bus Station) and Slough Trading Estate via Slough and Salt Hill.

There were not many “E” plates for this short route.

Route 447 followed a meandering course, running from Redhill Station up to Woldingham, high on the North Downs via a rather circuitous route through Batts Hill, Reigate, Meadvale, Earlswood, Redhill and South Merstham. By 1965 it ran only as far as Merstham (Delabole Road). For most of its life it would have been operated by RF single-deckers out of Reigate Garage [RG], although there was one scheduled journey by an RLH low-height double-decker for a time.

Route 447 map
This plate was obviously on the road-side for a long time, judging by the weathering and some scratches.
I believe this “E” plate came from Reigate.
This plate could have come from either Redhill or Reigate where buses ran in more than one direction, as no ultimate destination is shown.


Route 447B ran between Merstham (Delabole Road) and Redhill Station via South Merstham, Redhill, Blackborough Road (which gave it the “B” suffix), Reigate and Batts Hill. It was limited to just a few journeys—mainly during the rush hours and early mornings—and made a quicker journey for buses running to and from the garage by missing out Earlswood and Meadvale.

Route 447B map

Route 447C was listed on the late-60s bus maps as a circular service running from Merstham, through South Merstham, Wray Common, Reigate, Meadvale, Redhill and back to Merstham (Delabole Road). The route was marked with an asterisk, indicating it was not shown on the map itself. These asterisk routes were mainly special services, serving schools, hospitals and factories. It probably didn’t last more than a few years, as it had certainly gone by 1973.



Route 448A was a weekday-only Guildford local service, running between Onslow Street and Pewley Way. It was withdrawn in 1964.

The condensed 4s are a feature of some older Country Area “E” plates.

Route 449 map

Route 449 originaly ran from Dorking to Ewhurst (likely via Holmwood, Bear Green, Ockley and Forest Green). It was later cut back to run between Chart Downs Estate and Goodwyns Farm Estate via Dorking. Some journeys ran on to Holmwood Common (Four Wents Pond) or to South Holmwood (Holly & Laurel).

John Huxford—owner of GS2—adds, “In my time the buses used were the GS, which met the 852 and the 448 at the Crown Post House in Ewhurst.”

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