RT3148 at Dorking on 470

Dorking Running Day

Sunday 4th September 2005

Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th September 2005

Part Four: Summer Sunday on the 93

It was a long-established London Transport tradition that certain Central Area services ran out beyond their weekday limits on Summer Sundays to take the London populace out to the countryside (and back). One such was the 93, which terminated at Epsom during the week, but continued to Dorking on Sundays. The summer Sunday services had been resumed after the war, with Sutton and Putney Bridge providing buses (RT2s from the latter), and later these two garages provided Leylands for the service: RTLs from both (Sutton only briefly), and sometimes RTWs from the latter.

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.

RTW75 ready to go RTL139 comes in to Dorking

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.

RTW75 ready to go RTL139 comes in to Dorking

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.

RTW75 on 93 at Epsom Clock Tower RTW75 on 93 at Epsom Clock Tower RTW75 on 93 at Epsom Clock Tower

RTW75 on 93 at Epsom Clock Tower RTW75 on 93 at Epsom Clock Tower

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.

Epsom Buses' MCL6 on 293, Epsom south of Leatherhead

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.

RTW75 at Friends Provident

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.

SNB340 on 425, Dorking SNB340 on 425, Dorking

It had been a great trip. What next..?

Part 5: Newdigate Circular

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 3 Part 5: Newdigate Circular