The first omnibus service arrived in London in 1829, prior to that people had to walk around London. Can you imagine the change that the bus has made to people’s lives? Although back then they were only for the wealthy, transport soon became an important part in the growth and prosperity of London. From the horse-drawn trams to today’s bendy buses, life for people around the capital would never be quite the same again. The arrival of mass transit allowed people to move out of the centre of the city and it permitted people to travel, both for employment and leisure.
London has had trams, trolley buses and the world’s first underground system. The last tram ran from Woolwich to New Cross on 5 July 1952 when trolley buses took over. Trolley buses were fairly short-lived and buses, as we know them today, were introduced to the capital in about 1910. The Routemaster bus has become a symbol of London and, as I previously noted, was introduced in the mid-fifties. It was the last bus to be specially designed for travel in London.
Today I visited the London Transport Museum that is housed in an old flower market in Covent Garden. Sadly, it’s not the world’s biggest building so the collection is a little limited. It is, however, fascinating and I loved every minute of the time we spent there. I love the trams (I think this comes from a fascination with Blackpool trams when I was a child) and the operation of the underground is really quite interesting, as it the development of the familiar tube map that Henry Beck designed in 1959.
Sadly, the future of London transportation exhibit is a bit dated and, therefore, a disappointment. Luckily for me it’s the history that appeals so much more.
There are a couple more pictures in the gallery.