Trams catered for the ‘better-off’ workers, and provided a well-lit and reliable service, producing star-profiled growth of towns and cities, as property values and development followed the tramlines outward. They proved correspondingly profitable, producing rather better dividends than railways around 1900, attracting demands for municipal regulation of monopoly. The next 25 years saw booming traffic: journeys rose from 992 million in 1899–1900 to 4,706 million at their peak in 1927–8, and route miles peaked in 1924 at 2,605. One could travel by municipal tram from Leeds to Liverpool in the 1930s, with but a short walk between end-on networks. They declined steadily thereafter, with some traffic being transferred to the trolleybuses, pioneered by Leeds and Bradford in 1911, but which, at their peak, only carried a little over 2,000 million passengers. Trams proved relatively inflexible from the 1920s, although some cities, such as Leeds, introduced new express routes in the early 1920s. They were starved of capital as their profits were milked to hold down the rates: new investment might have slowed decline, but could not prevent it, and by 1938 route mileage had fallen to half its peak level. The British urban tram largely disappeared by the mid-1950s, often amid poignant municipal ceremony. Concern over incipient urban gridlock led in the 1990s to revivals in Manchester and Sheffield, though still with massive problems of under-capitalization, and more tramlines may yet be disinterred.
J. A. Chartres
"trams." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trams
"trams." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trams
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