Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 28, 2019
Webpage updated: July 28, 2019




Commencement (see note A below)

Saturday March 11th 1893. 

Original Route (see note B below)

Guildhall, Westwell Street, Princess Square, Lockyer Street, George Street (Theatre Royal), Millbay Road, West Hoe Road, Radford Road, Grand Parade (West Hoe).

They presumably used the four tramcars they were going to purchase from the Plymouth Tramways Company because the first five of the vehicles they ordered from the Bristol Wagon Works Company did not arrive until Saturday April 1st 1893.  The last one arrived on Easter Monday. 

These 'light but substantial cars' carried 12 passengers inside plus 12 more in "garden chair" type seats on top (or 'outside' as they called it in those days).  The cars weighed 34 cwt, cost about 110 each and were painted in a bright red and yellow livery.

A fifteen-minute service was operated in the mornings on the General Post Office to West Hoe section, starting at 9am.  From 12.30pm until 10pm it was every 10 minutes.  The last cars left West Hoe at 9.45 and the GPO at 10pm, probably running only as far as the depot in Millbay Road.

Subsequent development (see note C below)

During the winter months of 1894-95 the service on the West Hoe section was reduced to every 15 minutes.

It was reported in June 1896 that during the winter of 1895-96 the patronage on the West Hoe route had been so poor that the service made a loss of 580.

The first major development in Plymouth's tramway system was the linking up of this southern section (West Hoe) to the northern part (Compton), which had been severed when the Plymouth, Devonport and District Tramways Company was refused permission to run their steam cars in Richmond Street.  The estimated cost of the new line was 3,100.  Royal Assent was given to the necessary legislation on May 20th 1896.  The Board of Trade inspection took place on the evening of Tuesday August 25thj 1896 and after the Inspector's approval a new through service was introduced from West Hoe to Mutley Plain.

Last Day of Operation

As the new through service between West Hoe and Mutley Plain began on Friday August 28th 1896 presumably the last day of operation of the Guildhall to West Hoe service was Thursday August 27th 1896.

Note A:  Wherever possible an exact date of commencement of a service is shown.  However, in a lot of cases no precise date has been recorded so reference will be made to official returns to the Council or other documentary evidence to narrow the date down as much as possible.

Note B:  This gives the roads and streets the service passed through.  A road or street name in brackets indicates that kit has not been confirmed beyond doubt that the road or street was used by buses on this route but it is a "best guess" based on the author's knowledge of the practice at the time.  If it is subsequently confirmed by either documentary or photographic evidence that the road or street was traversed by this service then the brackets will be deleted.

Note C:  Where deviations to the original route are shown they will be from and to a road or street named in the "Original Route" section so that the alteration in route can be easily followed.