THE AINSWORTH ROAD (BLACK LANE) TRAMWAY

[Source: Paul Williams]

Bury Corporation Tramways commenced its services in 1903. It wished to expand beyond its boundary, and opened negotiations with neighbouring local authorities to build and lease tramways in their areas. This included Radcliffe Urban District Council and, although negotiations were fraught, agreement was finally reached for Bury to operate Radcliffe’s tramways and these were opened in 1905. This included the tramway along Ainsworth Road, passing Black Lane railway station, which opened on 5 May 1905 and operated by Bury Corporation trams in accordance with the lease. This settled down into a tram service between the Three Arrows pub, Radcliffe and Whitefield connecting with Salford Corporation trams from there to and from Manchester. This was unusual in tramway terms as it was a tram service that did not touch the borough that operated it.

After the Great War motor buses improved quickly and tram operators began to seek to convert tram routes to bus operation. But Radcliffe’s lease was for trams, with both authorities still paying off the capital on building the tramway and tramcars, so although the main tram service switched to buses on 3 June 1929 Radcliffe insisted that Bury keep to the terms of the original lease agreement: so Bury trams continued to trundle up and down Black Lane - just at peak hours – until 9 October 1938, when Radcliffe’s last tram ran back to its home depot in Bury.


Bury Corporation trams of the type that would have run along the Ainsworth Road tramway.
Photo curtesy of Museum of Transport Greater Manchester

Last updated: Sunday, 24-Sep-2017 15:12:57 BST
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