London Passenger Transport Board

London Passenger Transport Board

The London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB), commonly known as London Transport, was the organisation responsible for transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948.

It was set up by the London Passenger Transport Act 1933 enacted on 13 April 1933. The original hybrid bill was introduced by Herbert Morrison, who was Transport Minister in the Labour Government until 1931. As a hybrid bill it had been possible to allow the legislation to "roll over" into the new Parliament under the incoming National Government. Although heavily populated by Conservatives, the new government decided to continue with the Bill with no serious changes, despite its extensive transfer of private undertakings into the public sector. On 1 July 1933 the LPTB came into being, covering the "London Passenger Transport Area".

The board

The LPTB had seven members: a chairman and six other members. The members were chosen jointly by five "appointing trustees" listed in the Act:

* The chairman of the London County Council;
* A representative of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee;
* The chairman of the Committee of London Clearing Banks;
* The president of the Law Society; and
* The president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The Act required that the board members should be "persons who have had wide experience, and have shown capacity, in transport, industrial, commercial or financial matters or in the conduct of public affairs and, in the case of two members, shall be persons who have had not less than six years' experience in local government within the London Passenger Transport Area."Alfred Plummer, "The London Passenger Transport Act of 1933: A New Socialization", in "The Quarterly Journal of Economics", Vol. 48, No. 1. (November, 1933), pp. 181-193]

The first chairman and vice-chairman were Lord Ashfield and Frank Pick, who had held similar positions with the Underground Group. Each member of the board had a term of office of between three and seven years, and was eligible for reappointment.


*Lord Ashfield 1933-1947LPTB Chairman, "The Times", April 18, 1940]
*Frank Pick 1933-1940
*Sir John Gilbert (London County Council) 1933-1934
*Sir Edward Holland (Surrey County Council) 1933-1939 [Obituaries: Sir John Gilbert, "The Times", December 24, 1934] [Obituary: Sir Edward Holland, "The Times", December 28, 1939]
*Patrick Ashley-Cooper, director of the Bank of England, latterly Sir Patrick and Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company
*Sir Henry Maybury, civil engineer, chairman of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, 1933-1943
*John Cliff, secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, 1933-1947
*Charles Latham, (London County Council) 1935-1947 [New member of LPTB, "The Times", January 26, 1935] [LPTB appointments, "The Times", December 10, 1937]
*Colonel Forester Clayton, 1939-1947 [LPTB appointments, "The Times", March 14, 1939]

Latham and Cliff become chairman and vice-chairman of the successor London Transport Executive in 1947.

London Passenger Transport Area

The London Passenger Transport Area had an aproximate radius of convert|30|mi|km from Charing Cross, extending beyond the boundaries of what later officially became Greater London to Baldock in the north, Brentwood in the east, Horsham in the south and High Wycombe in the west.


Under the Act the LPTB acquired the following concerns:


*London Electric Railway, which controlled:
** District Railway
** Bakerloo Line
** Piccadilly Line
** Hampstead & Highgate Line (now Northern Line Charing Cross branch)
** City & South London Railway (now Northern Line Bank branch)
** Central London Railway
* Metropolitan Railway, which controlled:
** Great Northern & City Railway


* London County Council (1,713 tramcars and convert|167.17|mi|km of route, including tracks owned by the Borough of Leyton and the City of London)
*Middlesex County Council (42.63 route miles, leased to Metropolitan Electric Tramways)
*Hertfordshire County Council (21.5 miles, leased to Metropolitan Electric Tramways)
*City of London (0.25 miles, operated by London County Council)
*Barking Corporation (operated by Ilford Corporation, London County Council and East Ham Corporation since 1929) (1.8 miles)
*Bexley and Dartford Urban District Councils (joint undertaking since 1921) (33 tramcars and 10.29 route miles),
*Croydon Corporation (55 tramcars and 9.28 route miles)
*East Ham Corporation (56 tramcars and 8.34 miles)
*Erith Urban District Council (4 miles)
*Ilford Corporation (40 tramcars and 7.13 route miles)
*Leyton Corporation (operated by London County Council since 1921) (9 miles)
*Walthamstow Corporation (62 tramcars and 8.93 miles)
*West Ham Corporation (134 tramcars and 16.27 route miles)
*London United Tramways (150 tramcars and 29.05 route miles, 61 trolleybuses)
*Metropolitan Electric Tramways (316 tramcars and 53.51 route miles, of which 9.38 were owned by the company and 46.23 leased from Middlesex County Council, 1.5 from Hertfordshire County Council)
*South Metropolitan Electric Tramways (52 tramcars and 13.08 route miles) ["London's Trams and Trolleybuses", John R. Day, published by London Transport 1979]

Buses and coaches

* London General, London General Country Services, Overground, Tilling & British Automobile Traction, Green Line Coaches

The LPTB was empowered to enter into co-ordination agreements with the main line companies concerning their London area suburban services. Ninety-two transport and ancillary undertakings, with a capital of approximately £120 million, came under the authority of the LPTB. Central buses, trolleybuses, underground trains and trams were painted in "Underground" and "London General" red, coaches and country buses in green - all coaches were branded "Green Line". Already in use on most of the tube system, "UNDERGROUND" branding was extended to all lines and stations. The name was said to have been coined by Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield in 1908 when he was General Manager of the Underground Group.

The LPTB embarked on a massive capital investment programme that extended services and reconstructed many existing assets, mostly under the umbrella of the 1935-1940 "New Works Programme". It involved extensions to the Central, Bakerloo, Northern and Metropolitan lines; new trains and maintenance depots; extensive rebuilding of many central area stations (such as Aldgate East); and replacement of much of the tramway network by what was to become one of the world's largest trolleybus systems. During this period two icons of London Transport were first seen - 1938 tube stock trains and the RT-type bus. Although curtailed and delayed by the outbreak of World War Two, the programme delivered much of the present Underground system.

The LPTB continued to develop the highest traditions of corporate identity, design and commercial advertising that had been put in place by the Underground Group. This included stations designed by Charles Holden; bus garages by architects such as Wallis, Gilbert & Partners; and more humble structures such as bus stops and shelters. The posters and advertising issued by the LPTB were often of exemplary quality and are still much sought after.

The LPTB was replaced in 1948 by the London Transport Executive under the Transport Act 1947. It was effectively nationalised, but with considerable autonomy.


* T C Barker and Michael Robbins, A History of London Transport, Volume two - the Twentieth Century to 1970, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1974


ee also

*History of transport in London (1933-2003)

External links

* [ The Railway Archive - London Passenger Transport Act, 1933] (25 MB)

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