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Bristol Tramway Company

A Memory of Bristol

Bristol Tramway Company and the glory days of the tram:

After the First World War the Omnibus Company changed its name from Bristol Tramways to the Bristol Omnibus Company/ In 1937 it was forced to keep using their very old transport fleet until replacements could be built. In 1949-50 over 200 vehicles were scrapped at the Kingswood depot.

In 1936 Bristol Corporation took an interest in the bus company a position that was to continue until privatisation in the 1980s. Until 1961 the buses even carried the Bristol coat of arms on their sides.

The Second World War years proved difficult, with petrol rationing, and the company were forced to reduce its operations by half. Passenger numbers, however, shot up, and many female drivers and conductors were recruited for the first time. Many single-decker buses were converted into ambulances or were requisitioned for war work, such as moving troops from place to place.

In 1957 one-man operation was introduced, although conductors continued on some city routes until 1984. The Bristol bus story of the 1970s and 1980s was one of decreasing passengers, higher fares, and cuts in public subsidies.

A memory shared by Paul Townsend , on Dec 5th, 2009.

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