Today was the first time for many years for the Leylands to run the 93 to Dorking again.
RTW 75 pulled up out of the Pippbrook car park to the stop, and loaded up. I thought it would be packed, but it wasn't. I sat behind the driver with my window and his door open so that I could navigate. No sooner had we pulled away than we saw our narrower counterpart, RTL139, running in on the previous service from Epsom.
We turned north to pass Dorking North Station, and headed for the Mole gap. We passed unmodernised Greenline RF269 running in on a 714 service. We reached the roundabout at Burford Bridge, but deliberately stayed on the main road rather than try to negotiate the wide bus through the narrow confines of Mickleham. We followed the snaking dual carriageaway through the narrow gap through the hills, and kept straight on for Leatherhead when the main road turned right for the by-pass.
In Leatherhead we turned right on the inner traffic-management scheme, and forebore visiting the town centre. Instead we headed north-east for Ashtead and on to Epsom.
At Epsom we pulled up on our designated stop near the Clock Tower, and were entertained by the rhytmic tickover of the big Leyland engine while we took photos.
Just ahead of the smart red Leyland was another ex-London Bus: Sunray Travel's short Dart DR136, on service 318 (which according to my internet search doesn't run on Sundays).
We set off again, the deep purr of the tickover changing again to the purposeful growl of travel. We worked our way round the Epsom traffic system, and passed one of Epsom Buses' modern equivalents of the RTW on the 93: a Mercedes-Benz Citaro on the 293 to Morden Station.
We headed back to Ashtead and Leatherhead along the A24, negotiated our way through the fringes of Leatherhead, and turned south. We had the old road southwards out of town almost to ourselves. I enjoyed the view over the driver's shoulder.
We rejoined the main road beyond the by-pass, and headed down the narrow dual-carriageway back to Burford Bridge. Shortly afterwards I spotted a bus-stop with an LRT flag and a layby, and dinged the bell for a photo stop outside the Friend's Provident buildings.
From there it was just a short way on past Dorking Station to the roundabout, where we met SNB340 setting off on a 425 trip.
It had been a great trip. What next..?
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
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