London Transport
Green Line Coach Routes 704 & 705


Last updated 06-03-10.

Route 704 was introduced in 1946 as part of the post-war re-instatement of the coach services. It ran between Tunbridge Wells and Windsor via Southborough, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Riverhead, Knockholt, Farnborough, Bromley, Catford, Lewisham, New Cross, Old Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, Millbank, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Kensington, Hammersmith, Turnham Green, Osterley, London Airport North, Colnbrook, Langley, Slough and Eton. The first of the famous RF-class vehicles was introduced on this route in 1951 and this type stayed on the route until conversion to RCL (Routemaster Coach, Long) in 1966. These in turn gave way to one-man-operated RP coaches in 1972. Apart from some summer Sunday variations, the terminals of the route never changed until it was withdrawn later in the 1970s as the traditional Green Line network declined due to lack of patronage.

704

E A S T B O U N D
704 LONDON AIRPORT VICTORIA TUNBRIDGE WELLS
This plate likely came from Windsor. It has the older LONDON AIRPORT name, instead of “Heathrow Airport”.
704 VICTORIA SEVENOAKS TUNBRIDGE WELLS
The back of “E” plates are usually the same colour as the face; however, this one is cream.
704 VICTORIA SEVENOAKS TUNBRIDGE WELLS FARE STAGE
FARE STAGE “E” plates are comparativeely rare, and this one sold for a handsome £310 on ebay in late 2009.
704 BROMLEY SEVENOAKS TUNBRIDGE WELLS
This plate is unusual in that the back of this plate is cream rather than the same as the observe, which is more common.

The backs of a surprisingly large number of Green Line “E” plates are the same colour as the lettering rather than the background colour. This is the reverse of the BROMLEY SEVENOAKS TUNBRIDGE WELLS plate to the left.
704 VICTORIA SEVENOAKS TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Reducing the amount of space between lines allowed for a slightly larger route number on this “E” plate.
704 TUNBRIDGE WELLS VIA SEVENOAKS
This plate is interesting as it includes the word VIA rather than naming the places in sequence. It is also very much less common to have four lines of text on Green Line plates; the standard ones usually have three.
704 TUNBRIDGE WELLS VIA SEVENOAKS
This “E” plate is particularly unusual in that the word VIA is in smaller letters and is not on its own line.
704 SEVENOAKS TONBRIDGE TUNBRIDGE WELLS
This “E” plate was bought from the London Transport Museum in Syon Park in the late 1970s when it closed down to move to Covent Garden.
704 SEVENOAKS TONBRIDGE TUNBRIDGE WELLS
My guess is that this “E” plate came from the Sevenoaks area, as there are only these two destinations left to the east.

W E S T B O U N D
704 LONDON and WINDSOR
This “E” plate came from Sevenoaks Bus Station and is an example of the very rare use of the word AND between place names.
704 VICTORIA LONDON AIRPORT SLOUGH WINDSOR
704 LONDON AIRPORT SLOUGH WINDSOR
These two plates date from the days before the name Heathrow Airport was widely used, as later “E” plates carried that rather than LONDON AIRPORT as on these plates.
704 HEATHROW AIRPORT SLOUGH WINDSOR
A newer “E” plate, with white lettering and the name Heathrow.
704 WINDSOR via VICTORIA
704 WINDSOR via SLOUGH
This westbound plate was posted in Great West Road at Oxford Avenue.
704 SLOUGH WINDSOR
Later “E” plates omitted the word VIA.
704 WINDSOR

704 - 705
Routes 704 and 705 ran together between Bromley and Windsor. Two examples of this plate were displayed: Slough High Street and Elephant & Castle; both towards Windsor.
704 VICTORIA TUNBRIDGE WELLS - 705 VICTORIA SEVENOAKS
This extremely rare “E” plate was discovered at the back of Windsor Garage in the early ’seventies by an RF driver. It was attached to a stop flag that had been knocked over in an accident.
704 WINDSOR -705 WINDSOR
Timetable leaflet for Green Line Coach Routes 704 and 705
This is a copy of a leaflet for coach routes 704 and 705 with a print reference of 1063/2806S 60M, published in October 1963. It is a single sheet of paper, folded to give ten 3" × 6" pages. It has complete timetables and a faretable, showing four coaches per hour over the common section of route between Windsor and Bromley. The through fare for the 3 hour 20 minute journey from Windsor to Tunbridge Wells was only 12 shillings (60p). It is printed in maroon throughout, with blue being used for the express section of the timetables for route 705 between Victoria and Windsor.
Timetable leaflet for Green Line Coach Routes 704 and 705
A selection of route 705·705 timetables from over the years:
1949 route 704-705 timetable
On and after June 11, 1949
1962 route 704-705 timetable
Starting on 28 October, 1962
1970 route 704-705 timetable
16 AUGUST 1970
1973 route 704-705 timetable
January, 1973

Route 705 was introduced in 1946 as part of the post-war re-instatement of the coach services. The 705 ran between Sevenoaks and Windsor via Riverhead, Sundridge, Westerham, Biggin Hill, Keston, Hayes, Bromley, Catford, Lewisham, New Cross, Old Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Kensington, Hammersmith, Osterley, Heathrow Airport North, Langley, Slough and Eton. From 1963 until 1967 journeys from Victoria to Windsor ran as a limited-stop express service and white-on-blue “E” plates were used on that section of the route. Operated throughout most of the 1950s by the famous RF-class coaches, RCs replaced RFs from 28 November 1965. Conversion to RCL-class long Routemaster coaches came on 2nd December 1967, followed by one-man-operation in 1972 with RP coaches. The Green Line route network began to be run down in the 1970s, but the 705 survived longer than some others by means of a re-routing via Heathrow Airport in 1977 and journeys to Windsor Safari Park on summer Sundays. However, by 1978 it had been reduced to one weekday evening local journey between Tunbridge Wells and Westerham, plus a Sunday through service from Windsor. No trace of it remains today, although the Kent part of its former routing is covered by services 246 and 402.

705
705
The figures on the “E” plate are somewhat bolder than normal.
705 FARE STAGE

E A S T B O U N D
705 HEATHROW AIRPORT VICTORIA SEVENOAKS
Another plate with a long destination set in condensed type.
705 VICTORIA WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS
This “E” plate is unusual in that the back of this plate (shown below) is cream rather than the more common Lincoln green.
705 VICTORIA WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS
A newer version of the previous plate, with white figures.
705 BROMLEY WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS
This plate came perhaps from the start of the 705 in Windsor.
705 VICTORIA WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS observe
705 BIGGIN HILL WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS
This unusual plate probably came from the stop in Bromley. Biggin Hill is marked in lower case on 1960s Green Line maps, suggesting that it was of minor importance and not normally worthy of inclusion as a “via” point on an “E” plate. Perhaps the reason is the existence of the nearby famous Battle of Britain airfield of 1940—still open today although serving executive jets rather than Spitfires.
705 SEVENOAKS VIA WESTERHAM
705 SEVENOAKS
This “E” plate was at Pimlico, St. George’s Square.
705 EXPRESS WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS
Express plates like this one would have come from the section of route between Victoria and Windsor.

W E S T B O U N D
705 VICTORIA LONDON AIRPORT WINDSOR
This plate would have been from a westbound stop at the eastern end of the route, probably between Sevenoaks and Bromley.
705 HEATHROW AIRPORT SLOUGH WINDSOR
This plate is particularly interesting as the name HEATHROW AIRPORT is in condensed lettering that is smaller than the other destinations.
705 HEATHROW AIRPORT SLOUGH WINDSOR
A newer version of the previous plate, with white lettering and the text on four lines.
705 WINDSOR
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