Eccleston Bridge in the 1950sCarshalton 2007

Route 711

The full route ran as follows: HIGH WYCOMBE, Uxbridge, OXFORD CIRCUS, Clapham Common, Tooting, Mitcham, Rose Hill, Sutton, Banstead, REIGATE
On 15 April 2007, the free service will operate between Mitcham and Belmont.  See the timetable.
Main boarding points

Mitcham Cricketers, Rose Hill, Sutton Green, Sutton, Belmont California.


RF48 is seen here on Eccleston Bridge, Victoria in the 1950s.  This bus, now modernised, will be running the 711 on 17 April.
Photo courtesy
Route history
East Surrey, the General's associated company based in Reigate that later formed the nucleus of the Country Area, started an express service between Reigate and Charing Cross via Sutton in 1928.  This was relaunched running to Oxford Circus with new AEC Regal coaches in May 1930 and became officially a Green Line route in October 1930.  Two months later, this was joined to the Hitchin route to form one of the first two cross-London Green Line routes.  When lettering was introduced in February 1931, this became service R.
RF146 in Banstead High Street
The revisions of 1933 saw the Reigate route linked with Watford rather than Hitchin, becoming route J, but still running via Kingswood, Belmont, Sutton and Mitcham.  This continued until the withdrawal of Green Line services three days before the declaration of war.  The reintroduction of Green Line on 4 December 1940 included route 10 from Reigate to Oxford Circus, until Green Line stopped operating for the duration on 29 September 1942.
On re-introduction of the Green Lines after the war, the 711 was one of the fourth batch, commencing from 3 April 1946, operated by the Green Line 6Q6s.  Initially running from Reigate Garage to Baker Street, the 711 absorbed the original 724 to High Wycombe in November 1947 to become a half-hourly through service.   The route worked from High Wycombe and Reigate garages.
Modernised Green Line RF146 has been downgraded to bus status with London Country by June 1975, when it was seen in Banstead High Street.                                Photo © John Parkin
Modernised RF174 works through London in March 1974.  A Plumstead-based RM on route 53 follows it down Regent Street.
Photo © John Parkin
RF174 approaches Oxford CircusRFs took over in 1951/2, as they did on all single-deck Green Line routes.  As Reigate was the engineering headquarters of the Country Area, it was natural that experimental vehicles worked from there.  These included the light-weight single-deckers in the early 50s, which worked the 711 as well as local routes. The experimental Routemaster coach, CRL4, spent a period working the 711 in 1957/8, but the route remained single-deck during the RMC era.
The first diversion from the 1928 route came on the last day of 1966, when the service was rerouted at Belmont Station to serve Sutton Lane and Banstead High Street, rejoining the main road between Banstead Crossroads and Tattenham Way. 
One-man operation arrived on 23 November 1968.  RC-class AEC Reliances at least partly replaced the RFs from the late-60s, but the 711 became wholly LNC National-operated in June 1973, replaced in turn by short Nationals from 1974/5.  The route was withdrawn on 1 October 1977, with the Sutton to Reigate section being covered by new bus service 422.