On 6th July 1952 the last tram rumbled through the streets of London and arrived at the New Cross Depot in the early hours of the morning which is why some people think the date was 5th July. It was a sad day after nearly a century of service but there was a reprieve for some of them which were sent to Leeds to remain in service for a further 7 years. Phasing out this environmentally friendly system of transport was surely a short-sighted strategy. Trams are regaining popularity – for example Manchester has had a tram system since the mid-1990s and Croydon has been running a combined tram/light railway system since 2000.
Gosport nearly got an LRT system in 2008 which would have made the journey from Fareham to Portsmouth much quicker & cheaper by avoiding the use of the Gosport Ferry – probably the most expensive ferry system in the world in terms of cost per mile as it’s only 500 yards across and costs £3.40 return which is £6 per mile. Unfortunately it was discovered that building a tunnel under Portsmouth Harbour wasn’t practicable and the alternative plan for just a Fareham to Gosport link fell by the wayside due to planning permission not being granted when the number of trees to be felled was found to be somewhat higher than mentioned in the documentation! 😉
I remember buying my current house in 2001 when the LRT plans were alive and kicking and getting it for an excellent price because of it! £59,000 it was for a 2 bedroom end terraced house which used to be part of the Blenheim Pub in 1895 when Queen Victoria used to pass by in a train on the way to Osborne House which was her favourite holiday location on the Isle of Wight. I also remember a few years later some workmen suddenly appearing to measure-up for the cycle & walk path which would be within six inches of the Victorian railings which form the western boundary of my triangular property (which now boast at its apex the only triangular shed in the UK). I asked them why they didn’t come and talk to me first as it is a bit frightening to see a load of workmen using a tape measure just the other side of your boundary. They told me they didn’t have to so I rang up the project leader who profusely apologised for the rude behaviour of the workmen. I told him that they has just laughed when I asked when they were going to build the 8 foot high double brick wall to protect my property from the likelihood of rubbish being thrown into my garden by school children using the cycle lane & walk path as well as insulate it from the noise of the LRT passing by! The project leader did not however confirm that there were any plans to do so . . .