- London County Council Tramways
The London County Council Tramways was an extensive network of public street tramways that was operated by the council throughout the
County of London, UK, from 1899 to 1933, when they were taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board.
Tramways Act 1870local authorities were permitted to acquire privately-operated tramways in their area after they had been operating for twenty-one years. Accordingly, in October 1891 the LCC decided to exercise its option to take over four and a half miles of route operated by the London Streetways Company. The company disagreed with the price offered by the council, and the sale did not go through until March 1, 1895. As the LCC had no powers to operate tramways itself, it put the operation of the line out to tender, which the incumbent London Streetways won, being the only applicant.
In 1896 the London Street Tramways offered the rest of their network for sale to the county council, as did the
North Metropolitan TramwaysCompany. The council purchased the lines, and the North Metropolitan were awarded a fourteen year lease to operate them.
The council succeeded in having the
London County Council Act 1896passed which gave it powers to operate trams. The next system to be acquired was that of the London Tramways Companyin 1899, and from this date on all lines taken over were operated by the county council itself. By 1909 most of the tramways in the county had been taken over, with the LCC operating convert|113|mi|km of tramways.
In 1900 a further
act of parliamentgave the council the power to electrify its system. On May 15, 1903the first electrified section from Westminsterto Tootingwas opened by The Prince and Princess of Wales who rode the route in a specially decorated tramcar, and paid their fares with halfpenny coins minted for the occasion. The last horse tram ran on the April 30, 1915. Much of the system used a conduit system of electrical current, as the metropolitan boroughs had the power of veto on the installation of overhead wires.
The tramways north and south of the
River Thameswere almost completely separate until the opening of the Kingsway Subway in 1908.
July 1, 1921the LCC Tramways assumed operation of the Leyton Urban District Council trams.
In 1933 the LCC Tramways had convert|167|mi|km of tracks in operation, of which about nine were in Leyton, and a quarter of a mile owned by the
City of London. Much of central London was never served by trams, these being excluded from the area by legislation passed in 1872.
LCC trams could also be seen outside the county of London. Apart from operating the Leyton system, there were connections and joint running arrangements with the neighbouring company and municipal systems. This brought council trams to Purley on the Croydon Corporation system,
Barnetand Enfieldon that of Metropolitan Electric Tramways, and Hampton Courton London United Tramwaysmetals.
The council opened a coal-fired power station for the tramways on the Thames at Greenwich in 1906. As well as 22 tram depots around the county, refurbishment and maintenance works were opened at Charlton in 1909.
July 1, 1933The London County Council Tramways passed to the London Passenger Transport Board(LPTB), known as "London Transport".
"London's Trams and Trolleybuses", John R Day, published by London Transport in 1979
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