A Scania OmniCity Bus on Route 293
A Scania OmniCity Bus on Route 293 Photographed at the Spring, Ewell Village.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

Ewell is well served with buses and has five routes serving it and you are able to see a number of bus operators and bus types. The routes serving Ewell are:

E16   Epsom-Worcester Park via Stoneleigh, run by Quality Line with the name Silver Service, with Optare Solo single-decker in silver livery, auto route screensfitted.
293   Epsom-Morden via Lower Morden. Was run by Metrobus with Scania OmniCity single-deckers in red livery. Sometimes double-deckers used - now run by Metrobus Scania's in red livery.
406   Epsom-Kingston via Tolworth, run by Quality Line with Alexander-Dennis Enviro double-deckers in red livery.
467   Epsom-Hook via Ewell, run by Quality Line with Alexander-Dennis Enviro double deckers in red livery.
470   Epsom-Colliers Wood via Sutton, run by Quality Line with Optare Solo single-deckers in red livery, long type OPL Optares now run on this route.

An Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Bus on Route 406
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Bus on Route 406 Photographed in Ewell Village.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

A side view of an Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Bus on Route 406.
A side view of an Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Bus on Route 406.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

Our buses in red livery are operated on behalf of London Buses, part of Transport for London (TFL). Our routes are run by modern low-floor, fully accessible buses making it easier for people in wheelchairs, those with buggies, people with mobility impairments and those carrying heavy shopping. There are concessionary bus passes for senior citizens and for disabled people. Schools and colleges have buses passing nearby. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council operate RouteCall for people travelling around the borough needing community transport. RouteCall buses are wheelchair accessible and make regular trips to social centres, shopping visits, visits to friends, medical appointments and they run excursions. They are made by Renault and Iveco and they are painted white. Also to be seen on Ewell's roads are other community and welfare buses. These are normally mini and midi-buses often of Ford, Renault, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz and VW makes. Sometimes you can still see an LDV Convoy welfare bus - they were very popular. In the car park you can see welfare buses of different makes bringing and taking visitors to Bourne Hall and the nearby health centre. I've seen a light blue Iveco lettered Variety Club, presented to Papillon House School, logo showing Sunshine face and lettered with the children's charity Making a difference for children with Autism, plus logo showing a butterfly.

A Optare Versa single-deck bus seen on Route 467
A Optare Versa single-deck bus seen on Route 467,
usually Alexander Dennis double-decker buses are used on this route.
Image by Aubrey Morandarte via Flickr (CC Licence)

London Bus Routes: Route 467: Epsom - Hook — Route 467, Quality Line, DD11, SN11BVG, Ewell
Route 467, Quality Line, DD11, SN11BVG, Ewell
Image by Brian Kemp © via londonbusesbyadam.zenfolio.com

An old Style LDV RouteCall Bus
An old Style LDV RouteCall Bus
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

You regularly see the mid-blue Mercedes-Benz buses lettered NHS Inter-site Staff Shuttle serving Epsom and St. Helier Hospitals. One can see the red and white DAF and Mercedes-Benz vehicles of NHS Blood at Bourne Hall when people give blood. I've seen a white LDV Convoy lettered Nescot for the transport of staff and students. As well as buses seen in Ewell, a number of coaches can also be seen. Examples of our coach operators are the well-known Epsom Coaches with easily recognized livery of cream and red and their two and three axle Setra coaches are seen on tours, holiday and charter work. Another operator is Edward Thomas with mainly Volvo/Plaxton coaches in a nice cream and green livery. They are used a lot on school runs, contract and charter work. They are used on rail replacement work as well, such as Raynes Park to Epsom, at weekends when vital engineering work must be carried out to rail tracks, etc.

An Epsom Coaches vehicle passing Waterloo station London
An Epsom Coaches vehicle passing Waterloo station London July 2014
Image by Eddie via Flickr (CC Licence)

A bus journey through Ewell takes you to the well-known Bourne Hall with its famous "spaceship" design. It houses a beautiful museum and Local History Centre as well as a superb library. Bourne Hall park is lovely with its lake and trees as well as squirrels and other wild life. Close by Bourne Hall is a health centre which many local people attend using our bus routes and the previously mentioned RouteCall white welfare buses, run by Epsom and Ewell, are often seen there. Certain work has to be carried out in connection with our local bus routes. For example, when trees in Epsom Road (near Tayles Hill Drive) had to be cut back to avoid brushing double deck buses. For this reason, double deck buses have safety rails fitted to tops of top decks so as to avoid possible scrapes to the paint. Sometimes bus stops have to be moved for traffic reasons. For example, when the stops between the Organ Inn junction and Nonsuch Park on route 293 were relocated. A new stop was put in on Reigate Road on route 470 and it helps students attending Nescot.

An Optare Solo Bus on Route 470
An Optare Solo Bus on Route 470 Photographed in Ewell Village.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

Sometimes our local buses have to be diverted off-route and special "buses on diversion" signs are seen. For example, when mains pipework had to be carried out in Ewell High Street and buses had to be diverted via Cheam Road. Looking back to 2014 with the wettest winter in almost 250 years, with so much rain, the stream in front of Bourne Hall rose and rose and then overflowed onto the London Road first covering the pavement and then into the road itself. As a result, the bus stop, with wooden shelter, became surrounded with water and had to be taken out of use, being roped off. Buses that normally stopped at the shelter, routes E16 - 293 - 406, stopping at the 467, stopped just before at the corner of Market Parade and Spring Street. I wonder if the Dog Gate had seen rain and flooding like it before … perhaps? Sadly, many poor people in other areas suffered.

Flooding outside Bourne Hall
Flooding outside Bourne Hall, 17 January 2014
Image courtesy of Brian Angus © 2014

The flooding was still there on 25 Feb 2014
The flooding was still there on 25 Feb 2014
The flooding was still there more than a month later as shown by these photos taken on 25 Feb 2014
Images courtesy of Hazel Ballan © 2016

At times there have been, and are, special shoppers' buses in Ewell. One being in service was the 538 which used to go to the former Seymours, a large garden centre where Homebase now stands on Reigate Road. This service was run by Epsom Buses, now called Quality Line. Also interestingly with today's buses is that some of them are fitted with all over advertisements at the rear and some can be seen on Quality Line buses that serve Ewell Examples I've seen are for Epsom Skin Clinic on the rear of an Alexander-Dennis Enviro double-decker and for Skoda Cars on the rear of an Optare Solo single decker, both are Quality Line vehicles. Another interesting point is the different types of route and destination blinds. You see the route and destination blinds for the route that the bus is working on of course, but sometimes you can see buses returning to garage empty after a shift has been completed, quite often in and near Chessington Road, Epsom Buses/Quality Line busses returning to Longmead. I've seen blinds on buses that are returning from other areas, e.g. "SI Banstead,""SI Mitcham" and "463 The Manor," as well as "Not in Service" and "Vehicle on Test" being Epsom Buses/Quality Line routes. When the popular Herald of Spring event is on at Bourne Hall, I've seen a red Optare Solo of Quality Line and a white Renault of Epsom & Ewell's RouteCall on the special Park and Ride service that runs to and from Nescot when these events are on, bringing visitors to Bourne Hall.

A Glyn School Minibus
A Glyn School Minibus Photographed in Ewell Village.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

Driver trainer buses are to be seen in and around Ewell showing 'L' plate. I've seen a Dennis Dart single decker of Quality Line, and some Volvo/Plaxton double-deckers of London General. Some buses on routes have been painted in special liveries, e.g. the grey upper deck window surrounds on the red Dennis Trident double-deckers of Transdev-London United when they used to run the 467. Quality Line had a cream and red Optare Solo single decker in "special" cream and red "stripey livery" running on the E16 .Sometimes you see the various supplies and service vehicles that help keep our buses on the road. There is a wonderful Transport Fair held in Bourne Hall from time to time with many stalls where you can buy tickets, timetables, maps etc. at very reasonable prices. I collect material from the last twenty-five years or so and have bought bargains at just 10p-25p each. At one of the Transport Fairs that I went to was a beautifully restored 1930's London Transport ST-Type double-decker in red livery with an open rear staircase. It was on display in Bourne Hall car park and it even had a "Make-Do and Mend" poster on it reliving wartime and early post-war days. I've seen a beautifully restored 1950's London Transport RT-Type double-decker in Country Area green livery. I've also seen the beautifully restored 1951 Bedford/Duple coach of H.R.Richmond Epsom Coaches in maroon and cream livery.

A concessionary ticket for the E16 bus
A concessionary ticket for the E16 bus.
Image courtesy of Peter Reed © 2016

Now there is real time travel information, Oyster cards and cashless buses on London buses services, so it's nice to record the changes in bus travel and information, a different type of diary.

Peter Lemon, August 2016
Transcribed for the internet by Hilary Marogna.