Stagecoach has marked the commencement of its new 715 route between Guildford and Kingston upon Thames by running some journeys on the first day (31 December) using a Routemaster RMC that previously operated the former Green Line route 715 during the 1960s. This coach variation of the icon was delivered new to London Transport in August 1962.
Operated on behalf of Surrey County Council, the 715 for the most part replaces the former Abellio Surrey service 515, one of nine county council contracts the latter company sought release from. Stagecoach says the introduction of the new service means an improved travel opportunity is offered between Guildford and Kingston on Mondays to Saturdays, with a more direct route and a timetable intended to offer improved frequency. On these days, buses will run hourly until early evening, with the last bus from Guildford at 17.50 and a 19.00 journey to Cobham. The last bus from Kingston is at 19.25. On Sundays and public holidays, route 715 will run every 90 minutes and will divert between Esher and Winters Bridge via Lower Green, Douglas Road, Ember Lane, Imber Court and Thames Ditton, to give those areas a Sunday service.
Stagecoach South MD, Edward Hodgson, said, ‘We are delighted to be launching this new service within Surrey. We have a strong track record of attracting more people to bus travel and we will continue to focus on providing good value, high quality services for people in the area. We are grateful to London Bus Museum at Brooklands for providing their Routemaster bus for our launch day. It is important to be proud of our heritage. A very large number of our customers have never been on a bus where a conductor comes around and hands you a ticket, but that is what buses were like and it shows passengers how things used to be and just how much bus travel has evolved.’