London Transport
Green Line Coach Routes 709 & 710

Last updated 06-03-10.

Route 709 was introduced in 1946, as part of the post-war re-instatement of Green Line coach services although its origins were in pre-war Service “G”. It initially ran from Caterham to Baker Street via Old Coulsdon, Coulsdon, Purley, South Croydon, West Croydon, Thornton Heath Pond, Norbury, Streatham, Brixton, Kennington, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. It was later extended northwest to Chesham via Notting Hill Gate, Shepherd’s Bush, North Acton, Northolt, Uxbridge, Denham, Gerrards Cross, Chalfont St. Peter, Chalfont St. Giles and Amersham and south from Caterham to Godstone. In 1965 it was cut back to Baker Street again. It was later curtailed to ran daily between Godstone Garage and Oxford Circus, continuing on to Chesham on weekdays. The 709 was the last Green Line route to use crew operation, with RCL-class long Routemaster coaches, providing just three return journeys during Monday to Friday peak hours and one return journey on Sundays between Godstone and Baker Street.

709
709
The use of white rather than cream numbers (and the lack of any place names) indicates that this plate dates from the latter days of enamel “E” plates.
709 FARE STAGE
This is a more unusual “E” plate with the FARE STAGE panel. It also exists with cream lettering.

N O R T H B O U N D
709 OXFORD CIRCUS AMERSHAM CHESHAM
This “E” plate likely came from stops in south London.
709 WEEKDAY OXFORD CIRCUS CHESHAM
“E” plates showing WEEKDAY are unusual in as most Green Line routes ran daily throughout their length.
709 WEEKDAY OXFORD CIRCUS CHESHAM
709 WEEKDAY UXBRIDGE CHESHAM
709 CHESHAM
The “E” plates with CHESHAM as the ultimate destination would have been used prior to the route’s curtailment at Baker Street.

709 BAKER STREET
This plate dates from the late ’80s when route 709 was cut back to run just a few rush hour journeys only between Godstone and Baker Street.
709 SUNDAY BAKER STREET

S O U T H B O U N D
709 CROYDON CATERHAM GODSTONE
709 GODSTONE VIA CATERHAM
This plate is particularly old, indicated by the amount of weathering and the use of the word VIA.
709 GODSTONE VIA CATERHAM

709-710
◀ This plate obviously comes from one of the common sections of the two routes: Gerrards Cross–Uxbridge–Hillingdon or Shepherd’s Bush–Croydon–Coulsdon.
◀ The print code 388 - 10,000 - 20-2-33 (R) tells us that 10,000 copies were reprinted in February 1933 of this London–Guildford (Route “G”) / London–Byfleet (Route “Y”) timetable.
An early ’thirties timetable for Route “I”, the predecessor to the post-War route 710. ▶

Route 710 was introduced on 6 March 1946 as part of the post-war Green Line re-instatement programme, running initially from Crawley to Baker Street (the southern half of the pre-war service “I”) via Gatwick Airport, Horley, Earlswood, Redhill, Merstham, Hooley, Coulsdon, Purley, Croydon, Streatham, Brixton, Kennington, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. It was extended the following year to Amersham Garage via Shepherd’s Bush, Acton, Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes End, Uxbridge, Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St. Peter. The route was extended to Chesham on Sundays. The 710 was the longest Green Line Coach route at this time. By November 1968 the route was curtailed to Amersham–Baker Street only, and it finally died on 13 October 1972, another Green Line victim of increased car-usage, traffic congestion and rival train services.

710
710
The extra-wide black band at the top of this “E” plate is somewhat unusual.
710
710

N O R T H B O U N D
710 CROYDON OXFORD CIRCUS AMERSHAM
The destinations listed would mean that this plate would have been displayed somewhere between Crawley and Croydon.
710 UXBRIDGE GERRARDS CROSS AMERSHAM
This “E” plate dates from about 1968—i.e. after the curtailment of the northern section to terminate at Amersham.
710 AMERSHAM
routemaster105 writes “My Dad used to travel from Chalfont St. Peter to Hayes every day on the Green Line—either the 710 or the 709, as the timetable worked out there became an every 30 minute service during the day. This ‘E’ plate came—I have to admit—from the bus stop outside W.H. Smith’s in Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross. A traffic accident occurred and the bus stop was knocked over and all the ‘E’ plates were scattered. I was waiting [circa 1969] for the last bus back from Gerrards Cross to Chalfont St. Peter (a 353 short working from Gerrards Cross) and helped clear up the mess. By the way, no one was injured but the Vauxhall Velox was a write-off!
“So there it is folks, a bit of LT history with an unusual provenance!”.
710 AMERSHAM
To a purist this is a more desirable “E” plate than the other 710 AMERSHAM plate because the spacing of the numbers is more even.
710 AMERSHAM-710 CHESHAM SUNDAY
This plate is especially unusual as it shows the through service to Amersham, split with the Sunday extension to Chesham. It is most unusual to have a route number twice on the same plate.

S O U T H B O U N D
710 OXFORD CIRCUS CROYDON CRAWLEY FARE STAGE
FARE STAGE Green Line plates are extremely rare. Also, note the use of condensed lettering so that OXFORD CIRCUS fits all on one line. This plate currently holds the record for the highest price paid for an “E” plate sold on ebay: £897.99 on 19th March 2006.
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