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




Commencement (see note A below)

The first major development in Plymouth's tramway system was the linking up of the 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.

On the evening of Tuesday August 25th 1896 the Board of Trade's inspector, Major Marindin, carried out his official inspection of the new track work.  He walked the line from Westwell Street to the Market Place through Basket Street and Old Town Street and returned by tramcar.  The new line had been laid using rails of 90lbs per yard, paved with Jarrow wood blocks.  He duly gave his approval.

The new through service began on Friday August 28th 1896.

Original Route (see note B below)

West Hoe Pier, Radford Road, West Hoe Road, Millbay Road, Theatre Royal, Lockyer Street, Princess Square, Westwell Street, Basket  Street, Guildhall, Old Town Street, Tavistock Place, Tavistock Road, North Hill, to Mutley Plain at its junction with Belgrave Road.

The first car left Mutley Plain/Belgrave Road at 8.45am and ran every half-hour until 10.15am when the service was augmented to run every 15 minutes.

Because Mutley Plain was also used by the service from Compton Lane End to Market Place, it was decided that cars bound for West Hoe should carry a red flag by day and a red light by night. 

The fares from Mutley to the Theatre Royal were 1d and likewise from the General Post Office in Westwell Street to West Hoe Pier.

Subsequent development (see note C below)


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.