Changes to the 71 bus route – by GH

The only bus that went anywhere near the Wates Estate was the 71, which started in Leatherhead and finished at Old Oak Common and there could be intervals of an hour or so between buses. The only other way was to walk to Ham Common and get the 65, which was a reasonable service, but tended to be infrequent, with long intervals where it was held up at the various road junctions.

Well, the bus service has been a complete change from the time we first came to live here. We’re in a situation now where I don’t have a driving licence anymore and really, the bus service is so good that it is not the hardship that it would be in other parts of… well, other parts around us like the Hurst Park Estate, which has a very meagre bus service, compared with the one that we have on the Wates Estate. Certainly, with pretty well a 10-minute service to and from Kingston and Richmond, plus of course, the Freedom Pass, which allows you, once you get to Richmond or Kingston to go anywhere in Greater London, this has been an absolute transformation from when we first came to live here, where, if you didn’t have your own transport, you were really in a very difficult living situation.