History of transport in London (1933-2003)

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Image:LT grille badge.jpg
London Transport badge on a 1950s "RT" Type Bus

The public transport network in London, United Kingdom and its environs has been under the single control of various organisations commonly known as London Transport. That control, generally speaking, bears responsibility for its underground railways, buses, coaches and trams.


[edit] 1933-1948

The London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) unified services in the London area for the first time. The period saw massive expansion of the tube network and was directly responsible for the expansion of the suburbs. The area of responsibility of the LPTB was far greater than the current Greater London boundaries. The extensive New Works programme was halted by World War II, with some projects abandoned but others completed after the end of hostilities. The famous London Transport brand and architectural style was perfected during this period, with the famous tube map first produced in 1933.

[edit] 1948-1963

The responsibilities of the LPTB passed to the London Transport Executive (LTE) in 1948. London Transport was taken in to public ownership and became part of the British Transport Commission, which brought London Transport and British Railways under the same control for the first and last time. The period saw the start of direct recruitment from the Caribbean and the repair and replacement of stock and stations damaged during the war as well as completion of delayed projects such as the Central Line eastern extension. The routemaster bus was introduced in 1956.

[edit] 1963-1970

Main article: London Transport Board

The London Transport Board replaced the London Transport Executive in 1963 and reported directly to the Minister of Transport, ending its direct association with the management of British Railways. During this period many of Britain’s unprofitable railways were closed down, as most routes in the capital were widely used the Beeching Axe had little effect. However, during this period there was little investment in public transport and the motor car increased in popularity.

[edit] 1970-1984

The legislation creating the Greater London Council (GLC) was already passed in 1963 when the London Transport Board was created. However, control did not pass to the new authority until 1 January 1970.

The GLC broadly controlled only those services within the boundaries of Greater London so the (green painted) country buses and Green Line Coaches were passed to the National Bus Company. The period is perhaps the most controversial in London's transport history. There was a severe lack of funding from central government and staff shortages. A 'Fares Fair' campaign started by the GLC in 1980 increased taxation in order to lower fares and was later found to be illegal leading to a 96% increase in fares in 1982. A later scheme developed in 1983 and 1985 created the zone system which is still in use today.

[edit] 1984-2000

Image:001 FC289.jpg
Some London buses lost their iconic red colour in 1993.

The GLC was abolished in 1986 with responsibility for public transport removed two years earlier in 1984. The new authority, London Regional Transport (LRT), again came under direct state control, reporting to the Secretary of State for Transport.

The London Regional Transport Act contained provision for setting up subsidiary companies to run the Underground and bus services and in 1985 London Underground Limited (LUL), a wholly owned subsidiary of London Regional Transport, was set up to manage the tube network. In 1988 ten individual line business units were created to manage the network.

In 1993 the operation of some bus services was put out to tender for the first time and, for a number of years, buses bearing a variety of different colour-schemes operated alongside those still operating in the traditional red livery.

[edit] 2000-2003

A replacement authority for the GLC was set up in 2000, the Greater London Authority with a transport executive called Transport for London (TfL). It is the first London transport authority since 1933 not to be commonly called London Transport. Controversially, the London Underground did not pass to TfL until after a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) agreement for maintenance was completed in 2003.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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History of transport in London (1933-2003)

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