RT604 at Leatherhead

Leatherhead Running Day

Sunday 6th September 2007

Prepared by Ian Smith, 8th October 2009

Part 4: 713: Leatherhead to Dorking and back: RF28

It was almost time for RF28 to leave on the 713 to Dorking, so I walked over to have a word with the crew and ask if I could go with them. I was keen to go on this trip, as I felt that I have a tendency to ignore the Green Line runs on Running Days (Probably a throw-back to my youth, when Green Lines were a rare luxury: Dad had an ordinary "sticky", which did not include coaches or trains, until he went on the staff in later years). I was welcomed aboard, and we went round to the dolly stop to load up.

We set off up the hill past Leatherhead. I thought we would turn right for the south road out of Leatherhead, but instead we headed towards Ashtead, and turned south at the roundabout onto the by-pass. RF489 was heading round the other side of the roundabout.

RF28 ready for 713 RF489

We zoomed south down the by-pass. The sweeping curves give great views of the back of the North Downs as the road curls down into the Mole Gap. Beyond the next roundabout we hit the singled section of dual carriageay, down the hill towards Mickleham.

Leatherhead by-pass MoleGap

Would we turn off the main road to negotiate the narrow way through Mickleham? Yes. Traffic was light, although there were plenty of parked cars around the church.

Into Mickleham Mickleham

Beyond the village we passed through the woods, and I rang the bell for a stop. This raised the question: was it done on Green Lines for passengers to ring the push buttons for a stop, or should one ask the conductor to do it for one? Either way, we paused at the Juniper Hill stop for photos.

RF28 below Box Hill RF28 below Box Hill

Then it was on down the hill to Burford Bridge, where we rejoined the A24 at the roundabout. We swept south past Dorking North Station, and turned right by the stainless steel cockerel to run into Dorking. It seemed strange to be running straight past Dorking Halls without turning in. We headed up the broad High Street, following the one-way flow into narrower South Street. Arriva's Dart/Enviro200 3979 was standing at the stop, presumably waiting to return north on the 465.

Dorking 3979 at Dorking

We pulled in just ahead of it. We had a few minutes before departure time, and I remembered photos taken from above. I found the way up onto a terrace, and watched as the blinds were changed: to London (Baker Street), then St.Albans, and finally Dunstable. (The side-boards, unusually, carry no numbers, as they were common to the 712 and 713).

RF28 at Dorking 3979 at Dorking

RF28 at Dorking RF28 at Dorking

Departure time came, and we set off up South Street to pass the site of Dorking Garage and Bus Station - now a residential home, with just a wall remaining of the garage, and a small lay-by in front.

We turned north, round the traffic triangle, and then east, back through the town.

At Burford Bridge we again took the Mickleham Road, and climbed along the side of Box Hill. In Mickleham we met P3 - but fortunately it had stopped at a wider part of the street for us to pass.

Dorking Garage P3 in Mickleham

We rejoined the A24 at the north end of the village, and toiled up the long hill on the dual carriageway. At the roundabout we went straight ahead on the Leatherhead road, straight into the town - until the town's traffic management scheme turned us right and left, to head round the big square to reach the Randall's Road base.

RF28 at Leatherhead

RF28 turned in, to visit the stop on the site, where I alighted. The Green Line coach was continuing on to Epsom, but I had a date with RF429, where I was required as navigator..

Part 5: 462: Leatherhead and Cobham, RF429

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 5: Leatherhead and Cobham