|Dates of operation||1875 – 1941|
The first trams in Bristol (horse-drawn, with a maximum speed of 6 miles per hour)) were introduced in 1875. Electric trams were introduced in 1895, the first city to do so in the United Kingdom. At its peak there were 17 routes and 237 tramcars in use.
The Bristol Tramways Company also ran a fleet of omnibuses to serve the rest of the city and country areas. In 1912 it bought the Clifton Rocks Railway. In 1929 the White family sold its controlling interest in the company to the Great Western Railway, but by 1932 control had passed to the Thomas Tilling Group. William Verdon Smith remained as chairman but was replaced in 1935 by J.F. Heaton of Thomas Tilling, so he could concentrate on the Bristol Aeroplane Company.
In 1937 control of Bristol's tramways passed to a joint committee of the Bristol Tramways company and Bristol Corporation.
- 1. Tramways Centre - Whiteladies Road - Durdham Downs
- 2. Tramways Centre - Whiteladies Road - Durdham Downs - Westbury
- 3. Eastville - Old Market - Whiteladies Road - Durdham Downs
- 4. Tramways Centre - Zetland Road - Durdham Downs
- 5. Tramways Centre - Ashley Down Road - Horfield Barracks
- 6. Tramways Centre - Ashley Down Road - Horfield Barracks - Filton Park - Filton
- 7. Tramways Centre - Warwick Road - Eastville - Fishponds
- 8. Tramways Centre - Temple Meads Station
- 9. Hotwells - Tramways Centre - Temple Meads Station - Arno's Vale - Depot - Brislington
- 10. Bristol Bridge - Knowle
- 11. Bristol Bridge - Ashton Road
- 12. Bristol Bridge - Bedminster Depot - Bedminster Down
- 13. Tramways Centre - Old Market - St. George - Whiteway Rd - Kingswood
- 14. Zetland Road - Old Market - Eastville - Fishponds - Staple Hill
- 15. Knowle - Bushy Park - Old Market - St. George - Marling Road - Nags Head Hill - Hanham
- 16. Old Market - St George
- 17. Hotwells - Tramways Centre - Temple Meads Station
- Route 1 was withdrawn and absorbed into 2.
- Route 8 was withdrawn and absorbed into 9.
- Route 13 for a while, did not run to the Tramways Centre but terminated at Old Market.
- Route 16. was a busy-period route only and was absorbed into 13 and 15.
- Route 17 ran to meet the P and A Campbell steamers and was withdrawn at the same time as Route 8
- Trams did not actually run along Ashley Down Rd., Marling Rd., or Whiteway Road, and route 14 did not enter Zetland Rd.
- From 1902 to 1905, the route from Hanham, having reached Old Market, was extended to the Tramways Centre.
Abandonment of the tramways began in 1938, but this was halted at the outbreak of World War II. Tram operations ceased in 1941, with the Luftwaffe's Good Friday raid which set central Bristol on fire. A bomb hit Counterslip bridge, St Philips, next to the generating centre, and severed the tram power supply. The final tram from Old Market to Kingswood was given a push by passers-by and freewheeled its way into the depot.
All of Bristol's trams were scrapped and not one has been preserved for future generations. The main memorial to the system is a length of tram track still embedded in St Mary Redcliffe churchyard where it was blown by a bomb.
The Bristol Tramways company continued as a bus operator, but the name was not changed to Bristol Omnibus Company until 1957.
- History of Bristol Tramways
- Potted history of attempts to resurrect trams in Bristol
- History of LTRA development and closure
|Historic town tramway systems in the United Kingdom (v/t)|
Alford and Sutton - Barnsley and District - Birmingham Corporation - Blackpool - Brill - Bristol - Chesterfield - City of Birmingham - Dearne District - Derby - Doncaster - Grimsby & Immingham - Grimsby District - Heaton Park - Hull - Ilkeston - Liverpool - London County Council - London United - Maidstone Corporation - Mansfield & District - Matlock - Mexborough & Swinton - Nottingham Corporation - Nottingham & District - Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire - Rotherham - Scarborough funiculars - Sheffield - Southampton - Volks Electric - Warrington - Wisbech and Upwell - Wolverton and Stony Stratford