Southampton Corporation Tramways - Closure

Closure

The trams in Southampton had consistently made good profits for Southampton Corporation, but the profits went into the rate relief fund instead of being re-invested into the Tram system. Consequently, by the end of the Second World War, the whole system needed modernisation - the trams, the power supply and the track. It was decided that buses were a better alternative. The first line to close was Bitterne Park - St. Mary's - Docks, which closed on 15 May 1948. Swaythling - Portswood - Lodge Road - Stag Gates closed on 30 October 1948. Swaythling - Burgess Road - Bassett Crossroads - Avenue Junction closed on 5 March 1949. Floating Bridge - Shirley, Holy Rood - High Street - Royal Pier and Roberts Road - Millbrook all closed on 31 December 1949. The last movement of a tram in Southampton was on 4 February 1950 when cars No.21 and No.101 were moved from Shirley depot to Portswood depot under their own power. After closure, some dome-topped trams were sold to Leeds, but the majority were sent to A F Harris's scrapyard at Bevois Valley for scrapping. A few were sold on from there to be used as sheds or summer houses, which enabled the preservation of three vehicles.

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