In a parallel world, Yellow Buses would no doubt be the first to use hybrid technology, such was its love with electric traction. And do not mention the monorail...
The recent retirement of Bournemouth’s last member of the platform staff who worked on the town’s trolleybuses reminds us all that *next* month sees the 40th anniversary of the closure of Bournemouth Corporation Transport’s trolleybus system.
Arcking as a driver sped under junction catenary, near-silent running, waiting trolleys at a crowded Triangle, the last brand new trolleybuses for a British operator, only one trolley at a time over Tuckton Bridge and other memories are all that’s left of a once extensive system.
|The Christchurch turntable as it is today|
Bournemouth’s swift, smooth, powerful and fumeless trolleys were popular. Yet, the inevitable wind-down decision taken in April 1963 resulted from a paucity of spares, an unwillingness by manufacturers to build new, the cost of electricity and the cost & inconvenience of moving the overhead wires for junction improvements & each time there were (an increasing number of) roadworks.
Trolleys lasted six years after the decision to withdraw and the final day was 20 April 1969. By then, the only route left was along the Christchurch Road.
|Belle Vue Road|
For a few years after the trolleys’ withdrawal, Yellow Buses unsuccessfully flirted with electric traction in the form of battery buses. One wonders had deregulation & privatisation not intervened whether a municipally owned *and* controlled YB might have been an early hybrid adopter.
|Trolleybus over Tuckton Bridge twixt Christchurch & Bournemouth|
|Tuckton Bridge today. Note the difference in the volume of traffic|
i Older photo credit to David Bradley, used with permission. His trolleybus site is recommended