North Metropolitan Tramways.
The North Metropolitan Tramways Company issued notices, and deposited plans and Bill for the formation of various lines of tramway in the Metropolis, including lines in Vernon Place and the South side of Bloomsbury Square. The formation of these tramways, with their objectionable noise, the occupation of the public ways by the tram cars, and the inevitable ruts and dangerous condition of the paving, which seems to be necessarily attendant upon all tramways, was considered by your Board would be highly detrimental to the class of property in Bloomsbury Square and its vicinity, and would moreover be in direct contravention of an Act of Parliament, passed in 1806, instituted, “An Act for ornamenting and embellishing the centre or area of Bloomsbury Square,” and which Act expressly prohibited the plying for hire of any hackney coach within the Square, or within the distance of 300 ft. of any house forming part of the said Square. Your Board accordingly petitioned the House of Commons against the Bill, and appeared by Counsel before the Parliamentary Committee in support of its petition. The Board’s opposition was successful, and that portion of the scheme of the Tramway Company was rejected by the Committee.
I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, G. WALLACE, Surveyor.
In consequence of representations made to the Board of Trade of the noise caused by the cable tramways belonging to the London Tramways Company at Brixton Hill and Streatham Hill and of the danger to the public and damage to houses along the route arising therefrom, a public inquiry was held by Major-General Hutchinson on the 8th December as to the renewal of the licence authorising the use of cable power. This Board did not object to a renewal of the license, but suggested that it should be renewed for one year only, and this course was adopted by the Board of Trade on the understanding that the Company would use every practicable means to reduce as far as possible the nuisance which was complained of.
Practically the whole of the property required for the widening of thoroughfares for the electrical tramways from Wandsworth to Tooting via York Road, Garratt Lane and Defoe Road, has now been acquired by the London County Council, the Borough Council assisting in several cases by putting in force its compulsory powers under Michael Angelo Taylor’s Act.
[. . .]
At the instance of the Borough Council, the part of the road between the tramway rails has been paved with wood in front of churches and other public buildings in order to lessen the noise of the traffic.
TRAMWAY TERMINUS, UXBRIDGE ROAD. The Borough Council has had the question of regulating admission to the tramcars at this terminus under consideration, and a number of schemes to meet the difficulty were prepared by the Borough Surveyor, but it has not been found possible to carry out any of the schemes.
TRAMWAY TRACKS. In consequence of complaints of the bad state of the tramway tracks, they were inspected by the Borough Surveyor, who submitted a report upon the condition of the same, with a schedule of defective places in the wood paving, maintainable by the Tramway Company. It was found on inspection, that many of the joints of the rails were defective, apparently caused by the giving way of the fish plates, and consequently when the cars pass over these places, the ends of the rails deflect and cause the noise which is a source of complaint.