Britain's Lost Trolleybus Systems - Plans and proposals, 1900 to the Present Day, by Roland Box

Britain's Lost Trolleybus Systems - Plans and proposals, 1900 to the Present Day, by Roland Box
Book published by Trolleybooks in 2019, 190 pages. Large Hardback - c.21cm by 30cm (N7302)

Brand New Book

This book provides a fascinating history of Britains lost trolleybus systems, and is packed with black and white photographs, as well as lots of colour maps and diagrams.

This highly detailed book discovers the amazing number of towns and nearly all cities of Britain that planned trolleybus networks over the last century. There may well have been one near you! Charting the need, complications and ultimate fate of virtually all known schemes, the author has dedicated many years to researching a previously little known but important aspect of trolleybus history.

From the introduction: The inspiration for this research was the publication by the Watford and District Industrial History Society in 1976 of an article about a railless scheme that was prepared in 1903 as a cheaper alternative to a tram system that was being contemplated for Luton in Bedfordshire. The research has not been continuous; there have been lengthy periods when it lay dormant but since my retirement it has been possible to devote much time to delving into the background of why schemes failed to reach fruition. By this time the resources of the internet were available, in particular the websites of the London Gazette and Hansard Much of the information in this book has been obtained or checked by visiting the Parliamentary Archive at the Palace of Westminster to examine original documents (Bills, Acts, committee minutes and deposited plans), which have revealed fascinating information on a number of ancillary issues.

This book describes the many trolleybus proposals that were put forward in Great Britain and Ireland between 1903 and 1949 but did not progress to the construction and opening of a system. During this period no fewer than 110 Bills seeking trolleybus powers were submitted to Parliament, of which 64 (listed in Appendix B) received the Royal Assent. There were a further 90 schemes suggested that did not progress to the seeking of parliamentary powers. The last system to be proposed was at Bolton in 1949, which by coincidence was the same year that the last system opened, in Glasgow. In the years that followed some systems continued to expand as routes were projected into new areas of housing and new trolleybuses continued to be built, although in declining annual numbers after the early 1950s. The last to enter service did so in Bournemouth in 1962 while the rebodying of older vehicles continued until 1965 when the last such vehicle re-entered service on the Tees-side system. Route extensions to existing systems totalling about 70 miles were built between 1949 and 1968 when the last opened on the Tees-side system. The Glasgow system accounted for another 32 miles of roads served by trolleybuses. However, during this period systems were closing as operators saw the motorbus as a cheaper alternative and a vehicle that was more suited to meeting ever-changing traffic demands. Ten systems closed during the 1950s and twenty-three during the 1960s. The remaining four followed in the early 1970s, with Bradford being the last in 1972...