Bournemouth Trolleybuses

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What is it

On April 20th 1969 Bournemouth closed its fine trolleybus system. The system had a number of features that were unusual. Christchurch High Street was too narrow for a conventional turning loop so trolleys used a turntable. The driver held the booms clear of the wire while the clippie pushed the bus round. Trolleys had a open rear platform for boarding and a door operated exit at the front. The doors were opened and shut by the driver. These trolleys had two staircases, at the rear for boarding passengers and at the front for alighting passengers. This system of boarding and alighting was devised to cope with heavy demand during the holiday season. Bournemouth's trolleybuses covered some 39 route miles with 127 vehicles at its peak.

Plans to build a town centre by-pass spelled the end for the trolleys. Soon after this film was shot the Pier area was to despoiled by a flyover of monumental ugliness.

Trolleybuses last operated in Britain in Bradford in 1972. However it was announced in March 2011 that a trolleybus system for Leeds, the city which introduced trolleybuses in Britain back in 1911, has government approval and once a the bureaucratic hurdles have been overcome construction will start in 2014 with an opening planned by 2016. This should the signal to all other large cities and conurbations to follow suit. For more on this visit


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