The Offical History Of Kingston Upon Hull City Transport

A Brief History.
A Brief History.
The Tram Fleet.
The Trolleybus Fleet.
The pre-war Fleet.
The Motorbus Fleet. (Open Platform)
The Motorbus Fleet. (Atlanteans)
The Motorbus Fleet ( Post 1975)
Motorbus Saloons Post 1945
The Stagecoach Fleet.

Kingston Upon Hull Corporation Transport

A Brief History

The public transport system in the City and County of Kingston upon Hull, once home to the largest deep-sea fishing fleet and industry in the world, can be traced back to as far back as 1872 when the first daily horse drawn omnibus service commenced from the west Hull village of Kirkella into the town centre. The city today, which radiates from the junctions of two rivers, the Hull and the Humber was founded by King Edward 1st in the year 1293, when he purchased the lands of two districts then known as Wyke and Myton, and was originally called "Kingstown upon Hull". Saturday January 9th 1875 saw the introduction of horse drawn trams along Beverley Road after the formation of the Hull Street Tramway Company. The company initially operated a fleet of around 20 double deck open top tramcars, which could carry between 35 & 40 people and had 90 horses in stock. Track laying continued and soon new routes were introduced along Hessle Road (7th April 1877), Anlaby Road (May 1877), Holderness Road (May 1877), Spring Bank and down to the Corporation Pier (February 1878). Three depots were built around the town, being at Jesmond Gardens off Holderness Road, Regents Street off Hessle Road and Temple Street off Beverley Road. By 1882, the company was carrying 31,500 passengers a week, requiring 25 tramcars (at its peak, 33 were in use) and using 121 horses to operate the services. Each car had 4 Flemish horses allocated, which meant they could be changed twice during the day. As Hull was flat, this proved to be an advantage for the horses! From here, a set network pattern began and which the main bus networks still works along some 131 years later!

Hedon Road was the only main road without horse drawn trams but in 1889, the Drypool and Marfleet Steam Tramway Company was formed operating steam trams between North Bridge/Great Union Street (a short spur was also built to Salthouse Bridge) and Lee Smith Street opposite the entrance to the new Alexandra Dock from Wednesday 22nd May. This system was far more advanced than the horse-street tramways, having double track throughout the full route, whereas the horse trams had single track with various passing loops along their routes. Seven steam locomotives were in stock, which pulled 74-seat double deck covered trailer cars of which 8 were purchased. A depot with office’s and a manager’s house was built in Hotham Street off Hedon Road.

Both systems had a simple fare structure, charging a 1d fare for any distance travelled. By 1890, this proved to be too cheap and dew to the rising costs of operation and competition from the horse-drawn "Wagonettes", which were known as "Town Way ups" after the call of their drivers, both companies found themselves in financial difficulties. The Hull Corporation could see the value in public transport and the decision was made on the 15th October 1896 to purchase the Hull Street Tramway Company for the sum of 12,500 and in 1899, the Drypool and Marfleet Steam Tramway Company for 15,500.

From here, the history of Kingston upon Hull Corporation Transport really begins. The Department had obtained Parliamentary powers to borrow 300,000 in 1896 and had began with the construction of a new power generating station in Osbourne Street in readiness for a new form of public transport, electric trams. Then on Thursday 9th June 1898, Alderman F. Larard ceremonially laid the first rails for the new system in Porter Street. Construction was rapid and soon a full system was laid along Hessle Road between St. John Street (Carr Lane) and Dairycoates/Carlton Street and along Anlaby Road between St. John Street and Wheeler Street. Two new depots were constructed, the main one being at Liverpool Street off Hessle Road, which housed the main works as well as the operational depot. The second depot was at Wheeler Street off Anlaby Road.

A historic day took place in Hull when Queen Victoria gave it its "City" status on Tuesday 6th July 1897 after serving the town’s Corporation with a Royal Charter.

Wednesday July 5th 1899 saw the official birth of the "City of Hull Tramways" when at 3.15pm the first electric tramcar left St. John Street bound for Hessle Road driven by Alderman F. Larard shortly followed by one for Anlaby Road. Thousands of people lined the streets to witness the historic event, every traction pole was decorated and buntings and flags crossed the streets. The 2 routes used 2 batches of tramcars, numbers 1-25 & 26-30. Construction was soon under way along Beverley Road, Spring Bank and Holderness Road in readiness to replace the horse trams. September 30th 1899 saw the final journey of a horse drawn tram as car number 23 driven by Charles Dyson pulled into the Temple Street depot for the last time.

The city centre was to see radical changes during the first few years of the new century which saw many old Victorian slum houses pulled down in order to make way for the building of the City Hall opposite the new Queen Victoria Square and along St. John Street and the construction of a new road called King Edward Street which linked Prospect Street to Queen Victoria Square. This was a great help for the northern tram services as they were currently operating along Albion Street and Bond Street and into Savile Street in order to reach the City Square.

Electric trams commenced along Holderness Road to Lee Street on the 10th April 1900 and along Spring Bank to Princes Avenue/Botanic Gardens Railway Station on the 2nd June and extended across the railway lines and along Princes Avenue to Queens Road on the 8th October. Beverley Road saw electric trams from the 8th December 1900, running as far as Cottingham Road/Haworth Arms although the service was broken at the Stepney Level crossing until the tram lines were laid through the railway lines. This took place between the 20th and the 28th February 1901 and the first tram with passengers crossed the lines on the 25th February at 12.42 pm. Also from this date, the North Hull tramcars were based at Stepney Lane. During 1903, further routes were opened the Pier service commenced on The 20th October and the Hedon Road service on the 17th December. The Hedon Road conversion took longer than others, 3 years in fact as a new subway railway bridge had to be constructed at the town end of Hedon Road as the Transport Committee in the House Of Lords refused to allow a double track electric tramway to cross the railway lines on the level. The last steam tram operated on January 13th 1901. For these services, 2 further batches of tramcars were purchased numbers 31-60 & 61-65. During the first year of operation, a total of 1,647,026 miles were operated and 17,264,013 passengers were carried with horse, steam and electric trams running together.

The electric trams were popular from day one; passenger numbers were very high, the frequency was high too, most routes operating every 2/3 minuets. During the first 6 months of the new operation, just over 4 million passenger had been carried and crews were cashing in an average of 640 per week. The tramcars were smart in their maroon and crimson livery, all had standard wooden slatted seating arrangements for around 51 passengers; some even had curtains in the lower saloons. All cars were open-topped and had no protection for the motorman (driver). Destination boards were carried on each side and placed on the top deck side panels. Thirty trams were originally purchased but by the end of 1900, the department was operating 65. The tramcars were on Brill 21E 4 wheeled trucks and had either Milnes, Brill (USA) or Brush bodies. This was to be mainly standard throughout the tramway operation with the exception of some cars being constructed by the Transport Department at the main works and United Electric Car Company. In 1899, a batch of Milnes double deck trailer cars were placed into service, numbered 101-125, but after a brief use, were quickly withdrawn and converted to normal electric trams at the main works and entered service as cars 66-90. 1903 saw a further delivery, numbers 91-100 entering service during the year and bodied by Hurst Nelson.

The Corporation was almost unique in its operation as they used centre grooved tram tracks with equal flanges on both sides of the track. Doncaster Tramways was the only other British operator to use this type of rail.

1902 had seen the introduction of "letter boards" placed on each end of the tramcars to indicate which route they were operating and were as follows; A-Anlaby Road, B-Beverley Road, D-Hessle Road (Dairycoates), H-Holderness Road, M-Hedon Road (Marfleet), P-Pier and S-Spring Bank.

Extensions of the Spring Bank service from Queens Road to Newland Avenue/Cottingham Road took place on the 19th January 1903 and the Holderness Road route was extended to Aberdeen Street on the 27th March. This was the first route to be placed in a central reservation along the section of Holderness Road from Summergangs Road. During 1903, two new depots were opened on Holderness Road and Hedon Road. The new Holderness Road depot replaced the temporary wooden building built opposite the Crown Inn public house near Summergangs Road.

September 1903 saw experiments with top covers to protect passengers in bad weather. Tramcar 61 was the first to be fitted with "Kennington" roller covers, which could be pulled down by the conductor in bad weather, but these proved to be unpopular and were prone to high maintenance and conductors had complained they were spending too much time opening and closing them at passengers requests instead of collecting fares. In total, 30 cars were fitted as such when in 1906, the Tramways Committee decided to fit permanent top covers to all vehicles that had not received the Kennington’s and as they were done, the remaining cars were converted. One tramcar was unique in the fleet, number 101, which was a double bogie car. This was purchased in 1903 as an experiment and lasted until 1916. It proved to be unpopular with crew’s as it was prone to de-railments on frequent occasions. 1904 saw another batch of tramcars delivered, numbering 102-116 with Milne’s bodies.

1907 saw an alternative route to Holderness Road via Drypool Bridge (known at the time as Salthouse Bridge), lettered TH commence from the 29th July and on the 13th March 1909 a new depot was opened on Cottingham Road to house all the North Hull tramcars which had been housed at Stepney Lane. 1909 saw a major development to the network when on the 30th September; a multi track Tramway Station was opened in Queen Victoria Square.

The Tramway Department had now been for a while receiving complaints from the residents of the Stoneferry and Wilmington areas of the city about a service to Stoneferry Green. The Department decided to introduce its first motorbus service using 6-second hand unused open top petrol engine Saurer motorbuses with Brown & Hughes bodywork purchased from the Mersey Rail Company in Liverpool. The service commenced on Thursday 29th July 1909 from North Bridge to Stoneferry Green via Cleveland Street and Stoneferry Road. This was to be ill-fated dew to very high running costs; the service was withdrawn on the 5th April 1912.

The fares on the new electric tramway system initially followed those of the horse and steam tramways, charging 1d for any distance. This did not change until 1908 when some fares became cheaper with the introduction of workman’s Fares of d on all journeys before 9am. In 1911, further changes were made when a free scheme of passes were introduced for the blind and on the 18th May 1914 a new fare stage system was introduced which saw short riders only paying d. A full journey still remained at 1d.

Further tramway extensions were made in 1912 when the Hedon Road service had alternate journeys extended to Marfleet Avenue lettered MA from the 29th April and then on the 9th October 1913 to co-inside with the annual Hull Fair held at the fair ground at Walton Street, an extension was opened along Spring Bank West to the east side of the railway level crossing at Walton Street and lettered SW. The Hessle Road service saw extensions to Pickering Park along Hessle High Road lettered DP on the 16th February 1914 and like the Holderness Road service, this was also built in a central reservation. Forty-four new cars were purchased during this time, numbers 117-122 (United Electric Car Co) & 123-136, which were constructed by the Department at the main works. No’s 137-160 were Brush bodied. During 1914, a multi-track fitting shop with traverser opened at the Liverpool Street depot.

When the outbreak of the First World War commenced in 1914, the tramway was in a very healthy state and provided an excellent service to the city. Dew to the outbreak, further extensions had to be put on hold and many of the conductors were called up for war time service which led to female conductress being employed. Dew to a heavy German Zeppelin bombing raid (the airship was bound for Sheffield but got lost!) on the night of 6/7th June, 1915, the Pier service had to curtailed to Church Lane in Lowgate for several days whilst the roads were cleared and new overhead lines were fitted as well as new tram track’s. Also during 1915, the Department commenced with the fitting of vestibules for the protection of motormen. The final batch of new tramcars arrived during 1914; numbers 161-180 with Brush bodies and these were delivered fitted with enclosed vestibules. This brought the tram fleet to its maximum of 180 tramcars.

The tramway network continued expanding immediately after the end of the First World War, the first being the Beverley Road service turning into Cottingham Road and down to the very posh and up-market area of Newland Park from the 14th July 1919 which was lettered BC. Also in 1920, the Department changed the name to "Hull Corporation Tramways". From July 1919, a brief experiment was put into place with several late night services but by April 1921, these had been withdrawn. The tramcars themselves also saw further modifications when in June 1920; the first car rebuilt at the main works entered service fully enclosed. Roller destination blinds were fitted to each end of the cars but this was done in a rather haphazard manner, some being just above the drivers cab, others being just below the front top windows.

September 8th 1920 saw the transfer of the Hessle and Anlaby Road services moved from the Tramway Station to Waterworks Street (Paragon Street) and not long after the Tramway Station was closed. Further fare changes took place with the introduction of free travel for legless ex-servicemen in August and for old age pensioners in October 1920. This was one of the first concessions for pensioners in the country and was not extended to the rest of the country till as late as 1983!

Attentions were once again drawn to motorbus operation and following Parliamentary powers obtained by the Corporation and further advances in motorbus manufacture, the Stoneferry service was re-introduced on Friday 14th October 1921 but this time commencing from Jameson Street/Hammonds via Charles Street, Barmston Street, Chapman Street, Cleveland Street, Stoneferry Road to Stoneferry Green (Bandstand) via Wilmington. The buses used for this service were 2 AEC "K" type 32 seater open top vehicle’s, numbered 2 & 3 (Fry bodies) and a single deck A.E.C "K" which was also used as a committee bus which was numbered 1.

The Department only saw motorbuses at this stage as a stopgap for further tramway routes and indeed tram tracks had been laid along a section of Stoneferry Road between Bedford Street and Foster Street, but trams were never to run along the route. When the new Stoneferry Bridge was constructed at Ferry Lane, which opened in 1905 to replace the former ferry, 2 pairs of standard gauge slots where placed in the end plates of the bridge giving further reason to believe that a circular service was planned along Clough Road via Stoneferry Road and Beverley Road.

Further motorbus routes commenced operation to Garden Village on the 28th March 1923, on the 15th October between the Fish Dock and Air Street and on the 23rd October to Newbridge Road. The Fish Dock service was on the 3rd December 1923 split into 2 separate sections. Three more double decks were purchased, this time the chassis being Bristol and numbered 4-6 (English Electric). At the same time, the Department purchased the assets of the Blue Bus Company, officially known as the Kingston Upon Hull Passenger & Goods Service Company, and its rolling stock, which consisted of Traffic, numbered 7, and a Commer, which was later, numbered 14. Six further Bristol’s were purchased new, numbered 8-13 (English Electric). The company of J.B McMaster of Hessle who ran the Hull to Hessle service was also acquired along with 6 vehicles but the Corporation did not have powers to operate outside the city boundary and so the vehicles were sold on to the Hull City Motor Works who had also been running a Hessle service since 1914. This company was later purchased by East Yorkshire Motor Services (formed in 1926), in 1932.

Returning to the tram network and on the 3rd December 1923, the Hessle Road route city centre terminal point was moved to Osburne Street, which was to see the removal of the signal box, and semaphores, which controlled the Midland Street junction on Anlaby Road. Earlier in the year, a brand new tramcar entered service and was to be unique to Hull. Built to the design of the then General Manager Mr E.S Rayner, it was built by English Electric and fitted with 2 42HP-trolleybus electric motors with transmission to the axles via propeller shafts. The vehicle was truck-less. A novel feature for the motorman was the fitting of a pull down seat on the platform. A fully working 1/6 scale model of tramcar 101 was built at Liverpool Street Works by the apprentices and was exhibited on the Hull Corporation’s stand at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and this model can still be seen today at the Hull "Streetlife" Transport Museum in High Street.

April 1924 saw the introduction of the first motorbus with pneumatic tyres in the form of a Guy BA single deck No 14 with Guy bodywork. Five more were purchased in 1924/25. These were mainly used on the Fish Dock service. This also saw the introduction of one-man operated single deck motorbuses. These vehicles were also used as introductory buses on new routes opened by the Department and were also used for private hire and school specials, which had previously been restricted to the tram network but now the Department had the flexibility to travel further afield. This proved to be a great asset for extra revenue for the vehicles, which would normally be not in use off peak.

Further tramway extensions took place during 1924/25 when on the 7th September 1924; the Holderness Road service was extended to Ings Road. From the 5th October, the Hessle Road route was extended to Pickering Road, the Anlaby Road route to Pickering Road, lettered AP, both being along central reservations, the Spring Bank West service along Chanterlands Avenue to Park Avenue, lettered SW, and the Newland Park service to the Goodfellowship Inn on Cottingham Road. The 12th July 1926 saw the Beverley Road route from Cottingham Road extended to Endike Lane and partly in a central reservation. The central reservations proved to be successful as the running of the tramcars did not interfere with other traffic on the road.

March 1927 also saw the extension of the Holderness Road depot and extensions were also made to the Wheeler Street depot and a new running shed was opened at the Liverpool Street depot for the main operational side. The original shed was converted to the body shop. The final tramway extension was opened on the 3rd January 1927 when the Chanterlands Avenue service was extended to Chanterlands Avenue North/Cottingham Road, which became lettered SWC. The year ending 1928 saw a total of 21 miles of tramline in operation, 5,778,009 miles operated and a total of 67,572,190 passengers carried. The tramway network was extensive to say the least but as the trams were restricted to rails, they were unable to compete with the increasingly popular motorbus and as the bus was becoming more strongly built with modern style bodyworks and smarter interiors, the Department began to invest heavily in more new buses.

The first double deckers with top covers entered service in August 1926, No’s 14 & 15 being AEC chassis’s with Short Brothers bodywork. In 1927, the first double deckers with pneumatic tyres enter service in the form of 2 Bristol’s, numbered 16 & 17 with Short Brothers bodies, 2 Leyland Leviathan’s, numbered 18 & 19, with 55 seat Leyland bodies and totally enclosed drivers cabs and a Guy BX 3-axled double deck, numbered 7 which was known by staff as the "Flying Pig"! These deliveries co-insided with the opening of services to Boothferry Road on December 31st. The Department also added to the single deck fleet with 2 further PLC Lionesses, numbered 28 & 29 and 2 Guy BD’s numbered 30 & 31. Six Bristol double deckers with Roe bodies entered service during 1928, numbered 41-46. Three more Guy BD’s arrived shortly after numbered 32-34 and 6 further Guy FCX 3-axled Brush bodied double decks, numbering 47-52. The motorbus network was expanding fast but this began to cause problems for the Department with other operators operating along their routes from other out of town areas. The tramway network was increasingly vulnerable, as it was not as flexible as the motorbus.

Hull Corporation started to look at other ways of operating the tramway network move efficiently and economically and as a result of the Tramways Committee’s visit to see the Doncaster and Rotherham’s new trolleybus system in operation in 1929, decisions were made to plan to convert the Hull tramway network to trolleybus operation although the first proposed route was to be the conversion of the Newbridge Road motorbus service. Opinions were divided and heated talks took place for several months. Such was the hope that the new trolleybuses would be introduced, a fleet of 12 Guy trolleybuses were ordered and new traction poles were ordered in readiness to convert the Newbridge Road motorbus service to trolleybuses. However, at the final meeting on the 7th January 1930, the plans were rejected and the 12 Guy’s were finally delivered as 64 seat motorbuses and numbered 53-58 (Roe) & 59-64 (Brush).

Despite this, the cost of operating the ageing tramway network continued to be a great concern and so a number of cost saving measures were to be introduced. The first major change was in 1930, when the closure of the main power generating station in Osbourne Street took place, which meant from here on, all power was purchased from the Corporation’s Electricity Department. Several more motorbus service commenced at this time, which included on the 5th May 1930 services operating to Sutton on Hull via Garden Village and via Holderness Road/Ings Road, the latter of which was purchased from EYMS, the 4th June 1930 saw the Derringham Bank service to Mannor Road and on July 1st 1930, a new route opened to Ingelmire Lane via Spring Bank, Chanterlands Avenue and The Quadrant. For these services, 4 Leyland Titans with Leyland bodies numbered 65-68 and four Dennis HS’s with Ransomes bodies numbered 69-72 were acquired.

Major national changes had to take place in 1930 when the new Road Traffic act was introduced and a comprehensive system of licensing all motorbus services which including the regulation of all timetables, fare tables, routes, licensing of all drivers and conductors and vehicles and the regular examination of all vehicles on a three weekly basis as well as an annual examination. This was to prove a great help to the Transport Department as it had received the licence to operate within the city and now meant that any other operator would also have to obtain a licence.

During the early 1930’s, some of the older cars began to be withdrawn; the top deck seats from these were used to complete the rebuilding of the remainder of the fleet. Also, a program was introduced to fully upholster all seating to bring the older vehicles up-to modern standards but this reduced capacity from 62 to 56. Two cars were initially converted as sample cars, entering service from the 20th March 1930. Then a further 10 cars were converted and were allocated to Cottingham Road depot on for use on the Beverley Road/Cottingham Road service’s. Dew to the seating loss, these conversions were discontinued. On the 10th August 1931, the new North Bridge opened, a new rolling lift bridge, which required special overhead line connections to enable power to be maintained on both sides of the river. The 5th September 1931 saw the first tramway closure when the Pier service was withdrawn and converted to motorbus operation, which lasted until the opening of the Humber Bridge in July 1981 when the Humber Ferry was finally taken out of service. November 2nd 1931 saw following the purchase of the licences from EYMS, the introduction of motorbus services to Sutton on Hull via Stoneferry, Wawne Village via Holderness Road, Ings Road and Sutton on Hull and the extension of the Sutton on Hull/Garden Village service to the Sutton Annexe Hospital on Saltshouse Road (now known as Princess Royal Hospital).

Motorbus operation was becoming firmly established as a very economical form of public transport. The early 1930’s were to see many major changes in the Transport Departments operations. The motorbus fleet had grown at a rapid rate and consisted of vehicle chassis from Bristol, Commer, Guy, Leyland, Dennis and Traffic and various bodybuilders such as Brush, Roe, Guy, Shorts Brothers and Ransomes. A small depot was purchased in Lister Street to house the growing motorbus fleet. This depot was later sold to EYMS and was used until they opened their new depot on Anlaby Road. The withdrawal took place of all remaining motorbuses without top covers or pneumatic tyres and most of the small 25/26 seat single deck vehicles. The Department hired in several motorbuses during 1931 including 3 London General Omnibus Company NS’s (NS 27,1010 & 1322), a Thornycroft Dart and 4 low and highbridge prototype Leyland TD1’s from Leyland, which were in full Hull livery, and then also took the opportunity to try out several demonstrators pending the placing of all new orders. In 1932, 10 new single deck AEC Regal’s were acquired numbered 1-5 (Brush) & 6-10 (English Electric) and 20 new AEC Regent’s numbered 73-82 (Brush) & 83-92 (English Electric). With the delivery of these new vehicles, the motorbus fleet was turned out in brand new "Blue and White" livery, which was introduced by the new General Manager Mr. Morrison who had recently joined the Department from Dundee. The livery was identical to the Dundee livery and with their highly polished engine covers, proved to be an instant hit and looked very different to the tram livery of crimson lake and broken white. At the same time, it was decided to repaint the tram fleet with a revised livery but still retaining the original colour scheme. To co-inside with the new livery, the name of the department was to change once again as the increasing importance of the motorbus operation had been reflected and so the name became "Hull Corporation Transport". A new route numbering system was also implemented on all motorbus services as part of the Road Traffic Act; the first route being numbered was the Sutton on Hull via Stoneferry service, which was numbered 32. This is still the number for the Sutton service today although it operates via Summergangs Road/Gillshill Road.

June 27th 1932 saw the withdrawal of the tram service to Holderness Road via Drypool Bridge dew to the closure of Monument Bridge to facilitate the filling in of Queens Dock, which became Queens Gardens and the Hessle and Anlaby Road extensions were cut back to Dairycoates and Boothferry Road.

During the early 1930’s, the Hull City Council had begun a major slum clearance project and much of the city centre was to change. The biggest change was to the area north of the Paragon Railway Station were hundreds of old pre-Victorian condemned houses were demolished. This helped make way for the construction of a major new road linking Anlaby Road at the south and Beverley Road/Spring Bank at the north. The new road was named "Ferensway" after the local city benefactor, T. R. Ferens and with its wide carriageways, was unlike anything ever seen before in the city. On the northbound section just past the new buildings of the Regal Cinema and the Electricity Department was a large parking area built in readiness for a large hotel complex. This was used as a central temporary bus terminal point and so all city centre terminal points that were at present dotted around the city centre streets were moved to the new Ferensway site during 1933. At the same time, the Department began experimenting with its first diesel engined motorbuses, one of which included the revolutionary AEC "Q" type double decker. Number 127 was exhibited at the 1933 Motor Show and was built with 60 seats with a front entrance forward of the front axle which meant it was capable of one-man operation. The 6-cylinder engine was mounted on the offside behind the driver and the whole vehicle had a total weight of just less than 6 tons. But it proved to be years ahead of its time and the department only purchased this one new although a second "Q" was on loan during most of 1935 and operated in full Hull livery and numbered 148. A photograph of No 148 does exist of it travelling along Ferensway!

Other additions to the fleet during 1933/34 were 14 Leyland TD2’s, numbered 93-102 with Leyland bodies and 10 Daimler CP6’s, numbering 103-112 with English Electric bodies. A further 10 CP6’s were delivered during July 1934, this time with Weymann bodies and numbered 137-146. The later batch came with new look large multi-route destination displays.

Fares remained constant throughout the early 1930’s with a maximum fare of 2d being charged, In 1933, the prepaid discount tickets were withdrawn from use, something which was not to be re-introduced until the "Crown Card" system was introduced in fifty years later in 1981.

Despite the new company livery for the motorbus fleet and the full repaint program for the tram fleet of an upgraded livery, great efforts were made to constantly improve all standards of service to the people of Hull. As a result of this, plans were made between the Transport Department and EYMS to co-ordinate all services within the city boundaries.

From Sunday 29th July 1934, a new co-ordination scheme was introduced that meant all services operating within the new inner "A" area of a 2 miles radius from the city centre along with all revenue taken by both companies went to the Transport Department and all revenue in the new "B" area was split between the two companies. To keep route mileage to an equal balance, several services, which operated within the "B" area where jointly, operated. All revenue taken outside the "B" area went to EYMS and all services were exclusively operated by EYMS outside the "B" area, known as area "C". As a result of the new agreement, all the tramway extensions were withdrawn on the 28th July and all tram services now only operated within the new "A" area.

As part of the new city centre developments in the Ferensway area, a new depot was built on Lombard Street for motorbus operation only and became known as "Central" and a new purpose built "Coach Station" was constructed adjacent to the Paragon Railway Station and it has been said that this was one of the very first "interchanges" ever built in the country. These were officially opened on the 22nd October 1935 although EYMS did not move into the Coach Station until 1937.

As a result of the city centre slum clearance, a new housing estate was built in North Hull and during 1933; a new service was introduced to Greenwood Avenue via Beverley Road, numbered 16 and then in 1935 a new motorbus service to Marfleet via Newbridge Road was introduced on the 2nd December and numbered 45. 1936 saw the Transport Committee once again in talks over the introduction of a trolleybus system to replace the ever cost increasing ageing tramway system and once powers had been obtained from Parliament, plans were put in place to introduce trolleybuses.

Joint purchase with the Transport Department and EYMS of Sharp’s Motor’s of Hedon took place during 1936 and saw the Corporation motorbuses operating to Hedon, Paull and the Saltend Works. Also during 1936, the first bulk delivery of diesel-engined motorbuses took place with 20 Daimler COG5 double decks, numbered 150-169, again with Weymann bodies. These vehicles were the first to have the new famous Hull "Streamlined" livery applied. A further 15 identical examples were delivered in 1937, numbered 11-25. These new vehicles provided the Department with enough motorbuses to commence further new services to the new North Hull Estate and new services to Setting Dyke, Tweendykes Road, and Queens Road and for the forthcoming abandonment of the Hedon Road tramway.

Friday 23rd July 1937 saw the officially trolleybus inauguration at the Cottingham Road depot and then on Sunday 25th July, the first trolleybus services commenced along Chanterlands Avenue and Spring Bank to the city centre, the service being numbered 61 with a short working 61A to Goddard Avenue. Sunday October 3rd 1937 saw trolleybuses commence operation along Newland Avenue and Princes Avenue, which had been covered by a temporary motorbus service, numbered 20, replacing the trams on the 24th July, whilst the conversion took place, the new service being numbered 62 with a short working to Pearson Park which was numbered 62A. For these two services, a batch of 26 Leyland TB2’s with Weymann bodies were used, the fleet numbers being 1-26. The Beverley Road tram service finished on the Saturday September 3rd 1938 being replaced the following day by trolleybus service 63 and a short working to Cottingham Road/Haworth Arms numbered 63A. For this conversion, a batch of 20 Crossley TDD4’s with Craven bodywork were purchased, being numbered 27-46. This now meant that the northern section of the city had been cleared of tramway operation, reducing the tram fleet to 60.

Saturday 1st January 1938 saw the Hedon Road trams run for the final time, this time being replaced the following day by motorbus service 47 and then new motorbus services were introduced to Wold Road which was numbered 12 and to the new Bilton Grange Estate in East Hull, this being numbered 48 and ran to Wingfield Road/Kyffin Avenue. 1939 saw the Department purchase a rare batch of motorbuses in the form of 20 AEC Regent’s with Massey bodies but these unusual as they were fitted with Gardener engines and were numbered 170-189. A further batch of 20 new trolleybuses arrived in the fleet ready for the Holderness Road tram conversion, numbering 47-66. These were Leyland TB7’s with East Lancashire bodywork and were placed at first placed into storage as by now, the outbreak of World War 2 had commenced in September 1939. The conversion finally took place on Sunday February 18th 1940 and was numbered 64 with a short working to East Park numbered 64A.

The Department found themselves in common with all other operators in the country having to curtail operations and so all-late night services were withdrawn, along with the fish dock service and the original motorbus service to Stoneferry Green. The Pier service was also withdrawn for a short period. Frequencies were shortened and a number of petrol-engined buses were de-licensed as well as a small number of the original trolleybuses. The 3 Lionesses (27-29) were converted to mobile first aid ambulances and the 4 Dennis HV’s (69-72) had there top decks removed for conversion to mobile mortuaries. During 1940/41, 15 of the de-licensed motorbuses were loaned to London Transport following heavy German bombing of the city, trolleybuses 1-4 were loaned to Pontypridd UDC and then the buses returning from London spent a short time in Sheffield before returning finally to Hull in April 1941. All the buses that were operated by London Transport were fitted with a plaque on the front interior bulkhead.

The Transport Department suffered its worst day in its history during the night of the 7th/8th May 1941 when the city received a heavy bombing raid. The new Central depot at Ferensway took a direct hit, completely destroying the depot along with 44 motorbuses, which was at this time a third of the fleet. A cleaner was killed during the raid and several other employees badly injured. The head offices in Baker Street were blown apart resulting in the loss of many valuable records, and the front of the Hedon and Cottingham Road depots were badly damaged. Nearly all the overhead lines within the city centre were brought down and many traction poles were bent through the intense heat of the fires in nearly all the city centre buildings. The entire city was extensively damaged and thousands were left homeless with only 3% of housing within the city being unaffected by bomb damage. Several thousand Hull citizens lost their lives. Further raids took place during the summer months and further damaged was caused to all depots as well as vehicles that were parked overnight in the various city parks. In one attack during the night of 18/19th May 1941, large lengths of overhead line were destroyed along Holderness Road, which caused the withdrawal of the 64-trolleybus service for 8 days. One lucky escape was on the night of the 19th May 1942 when a 1,000lb parachute mine fell through the roof of the paint shop at the main works at Liverpool Street, landing along side Regal No 8. It never exploded and one can only imagine the devastation this would have caused. Dew to the heavy loss of vehicles, several operators throughout Yorkshire loaned a total of 25 buses to the Department, one of which was a single deck AEC "Q". During August 1941, 8 Daimler CP6’s were bought from Wallasey Corporation and rehabilitated by Halifax Corporation, these being numbered 70-72, 138, 142 and 144-146. These entered service the following year during January. Later in the year, a batch of 10 new AEC Regents were delivered, numbers 190-195 had wartime "un- frozen" Brush bodies, 196 had a Brush pre-war body which was originally built for Coventry Corporation and even had the sliding "sunshine" roof, and 197-199 which had Northern Counties "Utility" bodywork. Four "unfrozen" Leyland TD7’s were also delivered in 1942, these were originally destined for Western S.M.T, and were numbered 200-203. All vehicles at this time were painted all over blue to help stop being visible from above during air raids. "Limited Stop" operation commenced on all motorbus services operating along side tram or trolleybus services from the 15th December 1941 during the afternoon and evening peaks.

The Department decided to convert the Anlaby Road tram service to trolleybus operation once all the overhead lines had been replaced at various locations around the city had taken place. Dew to the reduction in the frequency on other trolleybus services, vehicles became available for the Anlaby Road route and on Sunday 6th September 1942, trolleybuses replaced the trams and the route became service 69. The withdrawn tramcars were all sold to Leeds City Transport.

Short workings on trolleybus services were renumbered separately from the main services; instead of them being an "A" they became 65 (61A), 66 (62A) and 68 (64A) from the 1st February 1942. From the 7th December 1942 until the 9th October 1943, a new trolleybus service numbered 67 operated to Chanterlands Avenue North via Beverley Road and Cottingham Road. Between 1942 and 1945, 6 batches of Guy motorbuses were delivered, being bodied by Duple, Park Royal and Massey. These were numbered 204-239 and all had standard wartime "utility" bodies fitted. No’s 228 & 229 were diverted from Cardiff Corporation Transport by the Ministry of Transport.

The final tram route still in operation was along Hessle Road and was by now in a poor state. This led to the decision to replace them with trolleybuses at the earliest opportunity. Dew to Government priorities, this took some time but in June 1945, the conversion took place. Saturday 30th June arrived and tramcar 169 decked out in hundreds of lights and buntings departed Osbourne Street at 10.45pm bound for Dairycoates and onto the Liverpool Street depot. Thousands of people lined the route to witness the final journey and celebrations were even higher dew to the cease of the war in Europe the previous month, and as 169 entered the depot, the familiar sound of the clunky tram wheels fell silent.

Trolleybuses took over the following day as service 70; using 12 Sunbeam W’s numbered 67-78, which were bodied by Brush. These were joined during 1946 with a further 6, this time being bodied by Roe and were numbered 79-84. All the remaining tramcars were again sold to Leeds, were they became known as "Kipperboxes", them now having a total of 42. Dew to the increasing costs to the Department during the war years, a fare increase was implemented in 1941, the first since 1922. Here, the stage lengths were shortened and the maximum fare was now set at 2 d.

The war had come to an end and six years of hardship and sadness were over, the city was in a mess with large areas of bomb damaged sites, but despite all this, Hull folk never faltered, and the Department more than ever took a great pride in its service to the city. Service changes came in during 1946 to help move the increasing amount of passengers being carried, one of which was the introduction of football specials in November between Boothferry Park, the home of Hull City AFC, and North Hull Estate. In addition to this, a trolleybus reverser was installed at Malm Street in the Boulevard to facilitate the operation of trolleybuses on a sports special service 71 taking fans to watch Hull RLFC play at the Boulevard. Also in 1946, the T.I.M ticket machines were introduced on all trolleybus services.

Dew to the loss of so many houses during the war, the City Council had to build temporary "Prefab" housing at various locations around the city, mainly on the outskirts or on bomb damage sites, one of which was along Sutton Road between the River Hull and West Carr Lane. Because of this, the Department introduced a new service, numbered 19 from the 16th March 1947 to the Sutton Road Housing Estate via Beverley Road. Some of these "so-called" temporary prefabs lasted until the mid 1990’s with the original tenants still occupying them! At some time during 1947, Guy Arab 205 was involved in a fatal accident at the junction of Lowgate and Alfred Gelder Street. A fire engine on an emergency call hit the nearside of the bus, which in turned toppled the bus over, killing a fireman and 2 passengers. 1948 saw the first service numbered above 50, when the new 57 was introduced to Ganstead Lane via the full length Holderness Road. 1949 saw one of the worst winters in living memory, the conditions were so bad that the village of Wawne was cut off from the outside world for six weeks; despite the fact the Department fitted snow plans to several buses to help them get through!

On the vehicle front, the Department introduced the new AEC Regent Mk2 with a batch of 16 numbered 240-255 during 1946. These were the last buses delivered new to have manual gearboxes. Then in April 1947, the new AEC Regent Mk3 with preselector gearboxes were introduced, something that became the standard to the motorbus fleet for the next 25 years, with a total of 86 being purchased new and all with Weymann bodies. These were in 3 main batches numbered 256-279, 280-315 (which were first 8ft wide motorbuses) and 316-335. In 1953, a small batch of 6 Regent Mk3’s numbered 336-341 were placed into service and these had the new look Weymann "Aurora" bodies with concealed radiators and were known as the "Bullnose". These were always said to be the most handsome motorbuses ever operated in the city and were also the last front engined with open rear platform motorbuses bought new. Two further batches of trolleybuses were placed into service, 1 batch of 6 in 1947, which were Sunbeam W’s numbered 85-90, and in 1948, and a batch of 10 8ft wide Sunbeam F4’s entered service, numbered 91-100. Both batches had Roe bodywork. This brought the trolleybus fleet to its maximum of 100 vehicles. With the introduction of all of these vehicles, a new large duel-digit service number indicator was brought in, similar to the tram letter system, whereby each main service or short working had its own number and the destination displayed just the main via point of the route. In 1947, the Department commenced a 4-year re-building program on vehicles, which had been acquired during the war as it had been found that many of them had been constructed with unseasoned wood. In total, 23 were rebobied by the Transport Department at the Liverpool Street works by transferring the bodies from the pre-war Daimler and Regent’s. A further 13 were reconstructed and modernised at the works and 2 were re-bodied by contractors.

Passenger numbers were still on the increase, so much so that the Department struggled at times to move the people of Hull around the city. This was to peak during 1948/49 when a total of 7,893,053 miles were operated and 102 million passengers were carried, something which has never been beaten. This is hard to imagine in a city that was only half the size as it is today!

1949 was the 50th Golden Anniversary of the Transport Department and so produced a small booklet with various photographs of vehicles old and new as well as facts and figures from the Departments history. Further service changes came in when a new service commenced, service 14 to the new Bricknell Avenue Estate via Park Avenue ran from the 30th October 1949. Another sports service also had commenced on the 2nd April 1949 to the Hull Speedway track at the old Hedon airfield. A new works service commenced from November to the Saltend Works via Newbridge Road. 1949 also saw the last petrol-engined bus run which was withdrawn in October.

The 1950’s had now arrived and the city was in full re-building mode to put right what the Germans had destroyed. The city centre was to see major building projects take place and the City Council had already commenced the construction of new housing estates on the outskirts of the city. All of this was to have a major effect to the Department but as ever, were quick to provide the necessary services were ever they were needed.

The 5th February 1951 saw the introduction of a new service for Wawne Village via Stoneferry, numbered 85, and a new special service commenced from the 14th April when the Department introduced its first "City Tours" which were to run throughout the summer months until 1954. These proved very popular, as the folk of Hull were able to see their city in full by travelling on just 1 bus and at a very cheap price too. October 1st 1951 saw a further works service commence to Saltend Works linking Hedon and Preston and from the 16th December; the new Bell Punch 5-chamber "Ultimate" ticket machines were introduced on all trolleybus services.

Something that had never been seen on any Transport Department vehicle before were exterior adverts but from August 1951 this was to change in order to help bring in extra revenue for the Department. Many thought this was ashame as it would spoil the look of the livery but as they were all hand painted; they were always applied in a smart manner.

1952 saw the introduction of service 58 to Bilton Grange/Nestor Grove from the 8th June and also saw the reconstruction completed of the Central depot at Ferensway following its wartime destruction. At the same time, a new mechanical bus wash was installed which was the first of its type in the country, 1 of 3 that were designed and built by the Department which were also installed at the Cottingham and Holderness Road depots.

The trolleybus fleet and network were now running in a very efficient manner and with 2 to 3 minuet frequencies on nearly every service all day, they were the best people movers in the city. The General Manager, Mr Pulfrey, who took over in 1941, had during the late 1940’s been studying the one man operated (OMO) trolleybus systems in Canada and had, in conjunction with Sunbeam and Roe, designed a new style of trolleybus which would be capable of OMO. These new vehicle’s would replace the original 1937 trolley’s, which were by now showing their age and Mr. Pulfrey originally wanted to place an order of 10 but as it was a new design, the Transport Committee only granted the construction of a prototype. The new experimental trolleybus made its first appearance at the 1952 Motor Show and was unlike anything ever seen before. Built on a Sunbeam MF2B chassis, the first of its kind in the UK, and bodied by Roe’s, the new design included a forward entrance forward of the front axle, a centre door between the axles, 2 stairways, seating for 54 and "Trolley Retrievers" fitted to the rear of the vehicle to enable to motorman or conductor to replace the trolley booms if they became de-wired. The new trolleybus entered service on the 22nd January 1953 and was numbered 101. It was placed into service on each of the trolleybus routes for a 6 weeks evaluation trial but only lasted 2 weeks on the Hessle Road service, as its unusual layout was no good for the busiest service in Hull. The Hessle Road area was the most densely populated in the city with thousands of back-to-back houses in terraces off the main road. The fishing families who worked the deep-sea trawlers, the fish docks and the many fish factories in the area occupied all these.

During the later part of the year, it was nicknamed the "Coronation" by the crews as it was Coronation year and it was the name applied to the production batch of 15 that were placed into service between November 1954 and May 1955 which were numbered 102-116. They were all allocated only to North Hull services operating from Cottingham Road Depot and from the 1st May 1955, service 63 became solely operated by the new Coronations. At no point did they ever see service on 64/68, 69/71 or 70. As the Coronations were designed for OMO, plans were made to operate them as such, during 1956, number 116 was fitted with a "Grant" farebox and magic eye counting equipment, but after various attempts by Mr. Pulfrey, the Transport Unions were against this and despite recommendations from the Ministry of Transport, OMO was never to take place on the trolleybus network.

However, during the same period, OMO had commenced from the 18th January 1954 by using 2 modified AEC Regal’s which were placed into off peak service on the lightly used 28, 52 & 19 services. Also during 1954, the 6-chamber "Ultimate" ticket machines were introduced on all motorbus services and all workmen’s fares were abolished from the 28th February. Also at this time, a driving school was set up at the Central depot and 2 training films were made in conjunction with the City of Hull Police Safety Unit, 1 for drivers and the other for conductors. Regent 251 had cab modifications made for primary instruction but in other vehicles used by advanced pupils, the instructors used earphone headsets in order to talk to his pupils. The Department also introduced traffic control assistance by the use of radio-telephone sets in the staff car, inspector’s van and tower wagons and worked in conjunction with the city’s uniquely owned municipal telephone company. Also, the inspectors on the street were issued with hand held walkie-talkies. March 4th 1954 saw a spectacular accident with AEC Regent 328 when the driver skidded at the Beverley Road/Sculcoates Lane junction after avoiding a fallen cyclist. The bus left the road and embedded itself in the Cussons Grocer’s shop on the corner of Sculcoates Lane causing extensive damage to both the bus and the building. The bus returned to service after several months of repairs at the main works.

1955 was to see two new services commence the first being to the new Longhill Estate from the 13th March although this was mainly operated by EYMS in order to balance out route mileage for the co-ordination agreement. This service was numbered 56. Then from the 13th November, a service commenced to the new Greatfield Estate in East Hull, initially to Ecclesfield Avenue and was numbered 41. As with most new services to the new estates being built, as the road and housing network grew, the services were extended as necessary. The R.A.F Station off Wawne Road (now the site of the Bransholme Shopping Centre) was given its own service from the 23rd May 1955 when service 75 & 78 commenced although this was very limited.

1957 was to see motorbus mileage reduced by 5% between January and March dew to the Suez oil crises, which forced the Government into issuing fuel rationing. This did not cause a major problem to the Department, as they were able to increase trolleybus operations without raising costs. Another new works service commenced from the 27th May between Diadem Grove on Bilton Grange and Somerdon Road off Hedon Road, numbered 96. During 1955, two single deck demonstrators were hired in for evaluation, one being a Leyland Tiger, the other an AEC Monocoach. As a result of this, a batch of 10 AEC Reliance’s with Weymann bodies, numbered 157-166, were placed into service from April 1957 and then from the 18th May 1958, OMO commenced on services to Bricknell Avenue, Sutton Road, Wawne Village and to Hedon and Paull. These vehicles had under floor engines, a front entrance with centre exits and seating for 39. The 27th July 1958 saw a new cross-city service commence on weekends only using the new single deck OMO buses. Numbered 1 & 2, this service ran between Marfleet and Gipsyville via the main outer ring road as well as Bilton Grange, Greatfield, North Hull Estate and The Quadrant. This service was to see many major route changes over the next 49 years and still operates today as service 10 & 11. Initially, 6 chamber Ultimate ticket machines were used on OMO services but from November 1958, the new "Solomatic" machines were introduced. OMO was extended over the next few years with a further batch of 5 Reliance’s numbered 167-171. November 1959 was to see the first of a series of school buses introduced when services commenced between Greatfield schools and North Hull Estate.

1959 was to see talks take place for the abandonment of the trolleybus system. This came as a shock to many people, the Department was even planning on bringing in 10 new single deck trolleybuses for OMO on service 61, but the decision was brought round as by now fuel was increasingly cheap and the cost of replacing trolleybus equipment had risen as well as the cost of producing electricity, although electric itself was still cheap, had risen too. Also, the city was growing at quick pace, moving the once prominent trolleybus passengers away from their routes to the outlying areas of the city, which had a massive effect of trolleybus passenger numbers. Passengers numbers were on the decline as a whole and operating costs were increasing dew to wages etc and this began to put the Department under strain and had began to fail in delivering the profits it had done so easily in the past. This caused the Department to implement regular fare increases throughout the mid 1950’s and into the 1960’s. The old narrow Drypool Bridge was closed from the 19th May 1959 in order to replace it with a rolling lift bridge identical to the North Bridge, which opened in 1931.

May 22nd 1960 was to see the OMO expand to the Sutton on Hull services 32/34 and the Fish Dock service 26. With plans to replace the trolleybus fleet in place, the Department had hired in several double deck demonstrators during 1959 and as a result of this, the new Leyland Atlantean with its rear engine and front-loading body was introduced to the fleet from the 1st June 1960, something which was to become standard for the next 15 years. Five Metro-Cammell Weymann bodied Atlanteans; numbered 342-346 entered service on route 22 to North Hull Estate and were the largest seated motorbuses to enter service in the city, with a seating capacity of 75 with 8 standing. For the time being, they could only operate on this service as it departed the Coach Station from platform 7, which was along the railway station wall. All the stands on the main Coach Station only had openings for rear entrance buses. On the 29th November 1960, 5 test runs were made on service 70 with the new Atlanteans in order to gauge bus stops and barriers etc in readiness for the trolleybus conversions. October 23rd 1960 saw the introduction of a new service to Rokeby Avenue off Anlaby Park Road North via Anlaby Road, numbered 6, and then from November 11th, the Hessle Road motorbus service 3 was extended to Boothferry Estate/Anlaby Park Road South and renumbered 73. The following day, a jointly licensed service with EYMS commenced to Hessle Square via Boothferry Estate, numbered 5, although only EYMS operated it.

Following the delivery of a new batch of Leyland Atlanteans numbered 347-356 during January 1961, which were this time bodied by Roe’s as were all future deliveries, the first trolleybus service was converted to motorbus operation from Sunday 29th January when service 70 along Hessle Road was operated with the new Atlanteans. This service was chosen first as the City Council had decided to build a new "flyover" over the Hessle Road railway lines at Dairycoates, the eastern approach road of which would be on top of the 70 turning circle. The bus network within the city had at one point to contend with 11 railway level crossings and 5 tidal river bridges! The trolleybuses finished the previous day and the operational side of the Liverpool Street depot was closed down with the new buses running from Central. Later in 1961, on the 10th July, a new administrative office block, recreational club and a large staff canteen were opened at Lombard Street adjacent to the Central depot. July 5th was to see the opening of the new Drypool Bridge following a civil ceremony. Two days previous, 20 double deck buses were parked on the new bridge for a weight deflection test. Also during 1961, the first of a series of second hand motorbuses were purchased, these being a batch of 10 Daimler CVG6’s from Newcastle Corporation Transport, numbered 121-130. As the Department had decided to replace the trolleybus & motorbus fleet with new Atlanteans, it had no intention of buying new front engined/rear entrance vehicles, so it took advantage by purchasing good second hand vehicles from other operators.

Saturday February 3rd 1962 saw the final day of operation for trolleybuses along Anlaby Road and the following day, a new batch of Atlanteans numbered 357-368 took over the 69 service, which still operated out of Wheeler Street depot. Saturday July 27th saw the Chanterlands Avenue trolleybus service 61 run for the final time and was replaced the following day by part of a batch of 19 AEC Regent "RT London Transport" type motorbuses, numbered 131-149, bought second hand from St. Helens Corporation which was renumbered 25. The new Hessle Road Flyover was finally opened from the 15th September, AEC Regent 318 being the last bus to use the crossing and Regent 317 was the first to cross the bridge. Also during 1962, the protected fares on all trolleybus services heading into the city, which had been always 1d cheaper than motorbus fares, were abolished. A further batch of Atlanteans numbered 369-379 entered service in March 1963.

1963 was to see the end of the Holderness Road trolleybus service 64, which made its final journey on Saturday 21st September, being replaced the following day by a further batch of new Atlanteans, numbered 380-394. This service was renumbered 54 in order to keep the east Hull service numbers in the "50’s" series. Saturday November 16th saw the 62-trolleybus service operate for the last time, the conversion being brought in earlier than planned. The original conversion was to be late in 1964 and a order of 8 Atlanteans had been placed for the route, but dew to a combination of other service reductions and repairs in the motorbus fleet, 10 AEC Regents were available and sent to Cottingham Road Depot and so replaced the trolleybuses which operated under the new number of service 20. Motorbus service 73 was extended to Boothferry Estate/Yarmouth Avenue from the 24th March 1963. From the 1st January, pupil travel passes and privilege permits were introduced and the protected trolleybus fares on all outward journeys were abolished from the 29th September. Also, from September 29th 1963, a major service number revision was introduced which saw many new numbers being introduced. Short workings of main services had the number "1" placed in front of it and school services had most of their numbers placed into 3 figures. The Marfleet-Gipsyville service was renumbered 101 & 102. The 22nd December saw service 14 extended further along Bricknell Avenue to terminate at St. Mary’s Avenue.

The end of the trolleybus was to come in 1964 but not before a new one-way system was introduced in the city centre. From the 28th June, over 2000 miles per week were added to the Departments total mileage operated dew to the new road layout within the city centre which resulted in all services having some form of route change. The 31st July 1964 was to see the opening of the new Anlaby Road Flyover, which replaced the level crossing at the Boulevard. Atlantean 368 was the last bus to use the crossing and Atlantean 361 was the first to use the new bridge.

Saturday 31st October and the City of Hull finally ended 65 years of electric traction when at 11pm; Coronation trolleybus 101 with motorman Gill Sewell and his Conductor Bob Leonard made the final journey on service 63 along Beverley Road. Unlike the passing of the final tram, no great fuss was made of the occasion and only a small handful of people witnessed the event. The following day, a batch of new Atlanteans, numbered 395-402, which had originally been ordered to replace the 62 service, took over the service, which was renumbered 18. The trolleybuses were towed to the main works to await disposal, number 116 being only 9 years old when it was sold for scrap, and the final trolleybus to leave the city in February 1965. The last of the overhead wiring system were removed from the streets of Hull on the Sundays during November and December. In all, the trolleybuses had operated a total of 55,839,135 miles and carried 887,387,582 passengers during their 27 years of operation.

The longest motorbuses in the department’s history were to enter service during 1964/65 when the new 36ft long single deck Leyland Panther’s bodied by Roe’s took to the streets. Numbers 172 & 173-177 were used on the OMO services and dew to this delivery; the cross-city Marfleet-Gipsyville service was able to operate 7 days a week from the 24th October 1965. The OMO rota had now reached its economical limit. Ings Road Estate was to see its first service when the 55 commenced from the 31st January 1965 to Savoy Road/Bellfield Avenue via Holderness Road. The new Orchard Park Estate built adjoining North Hull Estate was to see its first service on the 28th March when service 13 was re-routed to 37th Avenue and further extended to Courtland Road from the 25th April. School services commenced to and from Kingston High School off Pickering Road and a new special service commenced to the Continental Ferry Terminals at King George Dock from the 20th December using the new Leyland Panthers on a daily basis, something which is still in operation today although not using the Panthers. Atlantean 343 was involved in a serious accident on July 22nd 1965 when it was in collision with a car at the Preston Road/Marfleet Lane junction. The bus then left the road and came to a halt after demolishing the toilet block in the central reservation. The front of the bus was extensively damaged but was put right with the skills of the Departments Coachbuilders.

During 1966, the continued redevelopment of the inner city areas with large slum clearance projects under way meant the city was fast growing outwards and as said before, the services had to grow along with it. Because of this, the Department expanded its new cross-city and inter-district services during peak times for the benefits of workers and schoolchildren and at the same time, West and North Hull services had certain journeys during the morning peaks extended to the Guildhall and return journeys during the afternoon peaks commenced from the Guildhall. Orchard Park Estate was to see its first circular service from the 15th January 1967 when service 13 was linked with service 17 (later renumbered 15C/17C). Three new North Hull services were also introduced from this date, being numbered 11, 12 & 16 and later on the 12th March, the Greatfield circular commenced when services 41 & 48 were linked. Then, the first of a major set of service changes took place from the 1st May when the first services commenced to the new Bransholme Estate when the Sutton on Hull services 32 & 34 had certain journeys extended to the first part of the new estate in the Bodmin Road/Bude Road area. The original name for the area was to be Wawne Estate and was fitted and displayed on destination blinds for the first few weeks of operation. Service 20 was extended from Newland Avenue to Cranbrook Avenue/21st Avenue from the 20th August with a supplementary service 20A to Chanterlands Avenue North, as was service 40 extended from Ings Road/James Reckitt’s Avenue to Tweendykes Road. The 12th September 1967 saw a large amount of school services commence for the new Sydney Smith and Sir Henry High Schools. Further new works services were introduced at peak times linking most of the industrial areas of the city to the new housing estates.

On the vehicle front, further batches of new Atlanteans had been placed into service, numbers 402-412 in 1966 and 213-227 in 1967. The later batch should have been numbered 413-427 but were changed before delivery dew to a renumbering program that took place during the later part of 1966. A final batch of Panthers came into service in 1966, numbered 179-183. As it was hard for the Department to afford large amounts of new Atlanteans all at once, further second hand batches of AEC Regents were acquired to replace ageing wartime vehicles. In 1966, a batch of 12 Regents were purchased from Leicester City Transport numbered 101-112 and then in 1967, a large batch of 36 Regents were purchased from Nottingham City Transport numbered 150-185.

A major event of 1966 was the go-ahead from the Ministry of Transport for the introduction of double deck OMO and the department was quick to place plans to implement this. 1968 saw negotiations take place with the T&GWU, which led to the introduction of a productivity agreement, and further agreements that redundancies would be kept to a minimum.

1968 saw the linking of services 6 & 73 on Boothferry Estate from the 25th February, becoming 63C/73C and service 67 was linked at Gipsyville with a new service, becoming 67C/77C, but this was later withdrawn from the 11th November 1968. Then on the 17th March, the Wheeler Street depot closed down with all its operations being transferred to Central, which now meant that all West Hull services were operated from one depot. The 17th March also saw the closure of the Hedon Road depot, which had been used to store withdrawn vehicles since it closed as a tram depot in 1938. Hedon Road is today the only remaining electric tram depot left in the city. Services 18 & 20 were linked from the 28th July to form a circular service between the two routes via Endike Lane. Bilton Grange and Ings Road Estates were linked with a circular service from the 8th September when services 55 & 58 were linked and on the 15th December, service 19A was introduced to the new private housing on the new Sutton Park Estate. A further 2 batches of Atlanteans were delivered during 1968/69, being numbered 228-242 and 243-257.

Away from the Departments operations, and some of the darkest days since the Second World War descended on the city when between the 11th January and the 5th February 1968, 3 Hull trawlers were lost off the Icelandic and Norwegian coast. What became know as the "Triple Trawler Tragedy", 58 Hull fishermen lost their lives aboard the St. Romanus, the Kingston Peridot and the Ross Cleveland. Only one man survived, he was found in a life raft in a cove along the Iceland coastline. The city was very proud of its fishing heritage and this was a massive blow to the community. Trawlers had been lost before, but never in this way, and in such a short time. The author’s uncle, Alf Hartley (2nd Engineer) was one of the men lost on board the Kingston Peridot when it sank on the 26th January 1968.

April 27th 1969 was to see the first services to the eastern side of the growing Bransholme Estate when service 35 was introduced to the northern end of Noddle Hill Way. To co-inside with the new comprehensive school education system, a new network of school services were introduced to all parts of the city from the 2nd September. Sunday 14th September saw the very first one-man operated double deck service commence on service 20. Leyland Atlantean 247 with driver Tom Knapp operated the first journey from Cottingham Road depot at 12.15pm. This led to the circular 18C/20C being withdrawn. Dew to the new OMO on double deckers and the plans to convert the entire network; the co-ordination agreement with EYMS was amended when the "A" & "B" areas became unified from the 28th December 1969 so as to permit both companies to introduce automated ticket-issuing and revenue-collection systems.

March 1st 1970 saw the next stage of OMO conversion when the North Hull/Orchard Park circular 15C/17C, 22 North Hull Estate and 18 Endike Lane services were converted using the new look Leyland Atlanteans. A batch of 20 front entrance with centre exit 71 seat models, numbered 258-277, was placed into service from the 1st December 1969 and were to be ideal with the Departments progress with OMO.

At the same time, the General Manager Mr. W. K. Haigh who was appointed back in 1965 had been, in conjunction with the Bell Punch Ticket Company, designing a new automated ticket system, which was first fitted to Atlantean 277 in March 1970 for trials. The Autofare consisted of five parts, a coin acceptor (farebox), a remote control unit for changing stage number’s, a remote ticket issuing console, a ticket issuing machine and a logic unit. As passenger’s boarded the bus, they would inform the driver of their fare and destination, place their fare into a clearly marked slot at the top of the farebox, which the driver was able to check through the glass on his side of the farebox. The driver then pressed the appropriate button on the ticket-issuing console. This releases the coins into the locked container within the farebox and at the same time transmits electronic pulses to the ticket-issuing machine via the logic unit and the ticket with the correct value and stage printed on the ticket. The ticket machine is situated on the rear cab bulkhead and so in moving from the farebox to the ticket machine, the passenger leaves the way clear for the next passenger to make their payment. The system worked so smoothly that the bus could be loaded as quickly with the new Autofare as it could with a conductor and Hull achieved the fastest OMO boarding times anywhere in the country, even beating the system used in Stevenage on which no tickets were issued!

As a result of the trails, it was decided to convert the entire fleet with the new Autofare system and all further deliveries of new vehicles would come fitted as such. OMO had continued during the trials using the Solomatic & Autoslot self service machines at a fast pace and from the weekend of the 6th/7th March 1971, all weekend services were OMO, and by the autumn of 1972, the entire fleet was fitted up for OMO. The end of the traditional crew operated rear entrance, opened platformed bus was to come on Friday 10th November 1972 when conductor Len Ogle with his Driver J. Clarke departed Meadowbank Road at 5.15pm with ex Nottingham AEC Regent 167 bound for the city centre and once they had reached the Central depot, history was made in the British transport world as the Transport Department had become the first major urban company in the country to achieve 100% One Man Operation.

In total, only 47 conductors were made redundant, most were either trained as drivers, transferred to other departments of retired. Dew to the event of total OMO, the 1934 co-ordination agreement with EYMS was amended. During the whole period, passenger numbers were still on the decline, and during 1968/69, just over 56 million passengers were carried. Although the traditional opened platform buses had been withdrawn from normal passenger service, several were kept in the fleet to be used mainly on driver training duties and the occasional school special services, the last ones being withdrawn late in 1973. During this time, a further batch of duel doored Atlanteans numbered 278-297 entered service, these being the first to be delivered with the new Autofare system, as well as a batch of 20 single door versions numbered 298-317. During 1971, service 47 was extended from Marfleet to Greatfield from the 21st March and on the 6th February 1972; service 20 was extended to Ellerburn Avenue North followed by the Wold Road service 82 being extended along Wymersley Road from the 21st May. Service 22 was withdrawn from The Quadrant from Saturday 15th April 1972, being diverted via Hall Road. This was dew to increasing amounts of parked cars along that section of route, which was causing problems for buses to pass.

The Department was to have a name change and new look in 1972 when the title was changed to Kingston Upon Hull City Transport (KHCT) in anticipation of forthcoming changes within local government when Hull was to lose its status as a county borough and the streamlined livery of the 1930’s was replaced with a smart modern simple livery. The first bus to be painted into the new livery was Atlantean 217 and made its first appearance in June 1972 and the next batch of Atlanteans delivered during 1972, numbers 318-337 were the first to arrive in the new livery. Atlantean 318 was shown at the 1972 Earls Court Motor Show showing off well its brand new livery and a special advert promoting Hull as "Britain’s Gateway to Europe". Also during 1972, the Department entered into the computer age when the first schedules were created by computer on the 21st May.

A new shopping centre opened on the Bransholme Estate (site of the former R.A.F Station) on the 30th November 1973, the first services to use the centre being the 31A & 36, and then from the 7th January 1974, a new Bransholme shopper service was introduced which operated around the estate and was numbered 99 followed by service 98 from the 10th June 1974 which ran from Ings Road Estate. On the 9th September 1973, a fire was started on a bus parked on the bus park next to the Central depot. Two Atlanteans were completely destroyed with two others and a Panther being damaged. A 14-year-old boy was charged with arson. Then on the 10th January 1974, Atlantean 370 had most of its top deck removed when the driver took the bus along Perth Street West and under the very low railway bridge. Luckily, the bus was not in service! The 26th March was to see Atlantean 256 lose its top deck and part of the lower deck in a fire on the Orchard Park Estate. Despite the extent of the damage, the bus was repaired and put back into service. On the same day until the 29th March, the cities Sheriff’s Office as security for 40,000 debt seized 3 new Atlanteans. From the 31st March, Kingston upon Hull County Borough Council was disbanded, becoming District Council the following day. Saturday July 27th 1974 saw for the final time joint operation of city services with EYMS, the last services being operated by them being 38 & 57. From the following day, the only services EYMS operated wholly within the city were the 56 to Longhill, the 60 to Setting Dyke and the 81/82 to Wold Road/Wymersley Road.

A further 2 batches of Atlanteans entered service between 1973 & 1975, being numbered 338-357 and 358-367. The later differed to the rest of the fleet in being that for the first time in many years, the fleet numbers did not correspond with the registration numbers as the Government went through a short period of not pre allocating registration numbers for bus companies.

1975 was to be a bad year for fires and accidents for the Department. Atlanteans 339 & 355 had to be returned to the Roe’s factory for repairs after 2 separate fires on the 2nd & 5th January. Then on the 10th February, Atlantean 351 was involved in a serious accident whist on a private hire in Leeds. The bus struck a low bridge, which completely removed the roof. A 16-year-old boy later died from his injuries. Then on the 12th December, Atlantean 329 was involved in a fatal accident when a Dutch whisky tanker jumped the traffic lights at Leads Road/Sutton Road. He hit the front offside of the bus, spinning it around 180 degrees, completely ripping the front off. The bus driver was thrown from his cab and found badly injured in the near-by allotments and a female passenger was killed as she fell from an upstairs window. The bus returned to Roe’s for extensive repairs.

The arrival of the “buses of the future” following trials of a demonstrator commenced in 1975, when new technology arrived in the form of 10 Metro-Scania "Metropolitan’s" with 73 seat Metro-Cammell Weymann bodies arrive in the fleet. With all round air suspension, fully automatic transmission, power steering and large Scania engines, they were the shape of things to come in the bus industry. Numbered 401-410 they entered service from the 10th May 1975 after all drivers had been given training on them. A further 20 were to be purchased, numbering 411-420 & 421-430. A further batch of 6-second hand also entered service later in 1983 from Merseyside PTE. Service 21 commenced on the 27th January 1975 to Endike Lane via Newland Avenue and Cranbrook Avenue and then on the 18th May, service 71 was extended to provide further links from Orchard Park to Bransholme, Ings Road Estate, Longhill, Bilton Grange and Greatfield. August 10th saw the return of the "City Tours" and as before soon became very popular and as the new Metropolitan’s were mainly used; the passengers could travel in style! The routes changed annually and also saw the routes travelling into the countryside.

For some strange reason, the Department purchased 5 Ford "A" series 25-seat midi-buses numbered 11-15 in 1976 in order to run a city centre circular shoppers service, numbered 97, which commenced from the 6th March. These vehicles had manual gearboxes and a small rota was set up for drivers to operate the service, which ran Monday to Saturday. They were nicknamed "Tuppenny" buses as the fare was set at 2p. The service was a flop and was withdrawn at the end of 1978. The vehicles were kept but only used on school specials and private hire work, lightly used short services and peak time runs, the whole batch being withdrawn in January 1981.

On February 15th 1976, service 20 was further extended to the Orchard Park Estate and service 39 was extended to the first part of the new North Bransholme Estate although it did not enter the area until March 21st as no street lighting had been installed. From March 29th, service 40 was extended to terminate at the new Bransholme District Shopping Centre, service 67 was extended to serve the Pier from June 6th and service 21 was re-routed via the New Brunswick Estate along the Fountain Road area from the 26th July. March 30th 1977 was to see a new enquiry and lost property office open in the Coach Station and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary "Silver Jubilee" of the Queens Coronation back in 1953, the Department repainted Atlantean 247 in an all-over Union Jack flag and the bus had a temporary fleet number of 25! This was to be the first of many all-over advert buses that would be seen on the streets of Hull for the next 30 years.

Throughout the 1970’s, the Bransholme network of services were constantly extended as the estate grew to become the largest council estate in Europe and by mid 1977, the new area known as Bransholme North was, at it’s furthest point, some 8 miles away from the city centre. The vast majority of the people moved onto the estate had been moved from the slum clearances in the Hessle Road area. Dew to the road layout of the estate, it was always hard for the Department to provide direct services to certain areas, something which still causes problems today.

A further new Estate known as Spring Cottage off the northern side of Saltshouse Road near Sutton on Hull was given its first service from the 3rd April 1978 when service 57A was re-routed onto Dunvegan Road/East Carr Lane. On the same day, a further Bransholme shopper service was introduced to link North Bransholme to the shopping centre, numbered 97 and a new circular service, number 66 was introduced to Brunswick Estate and Newland Avenue areas. The Ford mini-buses were normally found on these services. As a part of the popular City Tours, an optional extra was added in conjunction with the British Rail/Sealink Humber Ferry for a return trip across the river to New Holland. On the 11th March 1978, an arson attack took place on the Central bus park when one Atlantean was wrecked and 5 other vehicles were scorched. Two further buses were damaged as drivers rushed to move them off the parking area. Then exactly a year later on the 11th March 1979, 4 Atlanteans were destroyed and 6 drivers were treated at hospital for smoke inhalation as they tried to move other buses off the park. From the 9th May 1979, the first "Bus Lane" was opened in the city. It was put into place between Anne Street and Ferensway along side the Cecil Cinema for outward-bound West Hull services.

The Department as ever still continued to take a pride in its fleet and history and this was shown well when in July 1979, the Department celebrated its 80th Anniversary. Two Atlanteans, numbers 245 & 252 were repainted in the 1930’s tram livery and looked fantastic to say the least. On the 5th July, both buses were parked outside the City Hall for the official launch of the celebrations and then took on a parade through the city. They looked magnificent as they shone in the summer sun and showed well the former livery of the tramcars. A 40-page book was produced for the occasion showing an illustrated history of the Department and the Hull Daily Mail ran special articles with various pictures.

It was not until March 1980 when the next batch of new buses entered service when 15 "Metrobuses" entered service, numbered 501-515. These were similar in style to the Scania model, all of which were bodied by Metro-Cammell Weymann, but these were more advance and were fitted with Gardener engines. A further batch of 15 arrived the following year, numbered 516-530 but these were the first double deck buses to be delivered with upholstered seating since before the Second World War and all buses since have come with upholstered seats. Tuesday 1st April was to see Atlantean 273 end its days of operation when it was lost to fire damage.

Most services were to see little change during the early 1980’s except for Bransholme which from the 16th May 1980 was to see a complete revamp as did the Marfleet to Gipsyville service 10 which was extended to the city centre at both ends and re-routed at various points along the route. Extensions were made on certain services but the main operation was untouched. Although unseen by the public, a rather significant change came into force when on the 17th May 1981; the 1934 co-ordination agreement with EYMS was finally abolished meaning that all the revenue taken by the respective operators was retained for themselves. At the same time, the Department introduced a new weekly pre-paid bus pass known as the "Crown Card" that could be used on all services KHCT services and on any EYMS services within the city on services numbered under 99. March 10th 1981 was to see the launch of a new purpose made "Ferrybus" when Atlantean 258 was repainted in the house colours of both KHCT and North Sea Ferries with extra luggage space fitted between the two doorways. The bus was also converted for use as a driver-training vehicle. The front entrance was blocked off and a false platform built next to the driver’s cab on which the driving instructors seat was placed with an emergency handbrake.

For several weeks from March 11th 1981, 11 Atlanteans and 3 Panthers were loaned to South Yorkshire PTE to help relieve a major bus shortage. These were all withdrawn upon their return. Dew to the opening of the new Humber Bridge linking the north and south banks of the River Humber, the Humber ferry service was withdrawn from Wednesday 6th June 1981 and so service 50 to and from the Pier ran for the final time when it operated from the Pier at 6.50pm. On the 25th & 26th June, a special free service, paid for by the Hull Chamber of Trade to encourage people on the south bank to shop in Hull, was operated over the bridge to and from Barton on Humber using 5 buses carrying a total of 5,300 passengers. The Queen officially opened the Bridge on the 17th July. The Coach Station was to see a major change from the 28th June when EYMS vacated all the stands under the main canopy dew to disagreements over payment for departure charges. The Spring Cottage service 57A was extended to the Bransholme Shopping Centre and renumbered 34 and linked with service 33 to form a circular service for Garden Village/Spring Cottage and Bransholme Centre from the 6th September 1981. Although not related to the bus company, a little piece of traffic history was made in the city on the 9th October 1981 when the last police point duty was removed from the Spring Bank/Princes Avenue junction at Botanic and replaced by traffic lights the following day.

On the vehicle front, a surprise came in 1982 when a batch of 15 Atlanteans arrived during January. This came about dew to an order of 20 Leyland Titans B15’s being placed back in 1977 which were to be numbered 101-120, but dew to problems with Leyland at the time, this never took place. Hence there was an outstanding order from Leyland and as they were keen to sell remaining Atlantean chassis, Hull was to receive it final new batch. Numbered 368-382, these were the last of a total of 241 bought new since 1960 and the last buses to be bodied by Roe’s for the Department. This batch had a somewhat strange appearance as the destination layout was reversed, the service numbers now being on the nearside. This came about after the Chief Traffic Officer, Mr Geoff O’Connell had noticed that intending passengers struggled to see the service numbers of approaching buses as they bunched at city centre bus-stops and as all the numerous Bransholme services only displayed "Bransholme", it was decided to reverse the layout so the service number could be easily seen on the nearside and this is a practise that has remained ever since.

A new name was to hit the Department in March 1982 when a new coaching division was introduced. "Kingstonian" commenced coaching activities with 3 new and 3-second hand Leyland Leopard coaches, numbered 21-23 & 24-25. Number 19, which was one of the second hand models, was fitted out with tables and a drinks machine for executive use. A full program of day excursions and tours were implemented and the fleet was soon extended with a further 4-second hand coaches, numbers 31 & 32 and 33 & 34. All the fleet were named after famous Hull people of the past. A new coach was added to the fleet in 1984 when a Dennis Dorchester was purchased, numbered 40, followed by 3 similar coaches bought second hand from Leicester City Transport in 1985, numbered 41-43. The coaching fleet was now at 14, which enabled the department to expand its tours and commence several express services’ to Blackpool, Mablethorpe & Skegness during Saturdays in the summer months.

The Boothferry Estate 63C/73C circular was broken from the 2nd January 1983 and would not be reconnected until the 11th December. This was dew to the TGWU request for traffic lights at the junction at Boothferry Road/Anlaby Park Road as buses were dicing with death having to cross such a wide and busy duel carriageway as at this time, this was the main road out of the city and traffic was constantly increasing. The 8th March 1983 was to see Atlantean 332 have an unusual accident when it was running light to Bransholme Centre. As the driver braked coming down the old Sutton Road railway bridge, he skidded which caused the bus to slide across the road and fall into its side and into the allotments. The driver suffered minor injuries and the bus was badly damaged. The 20th November 1983, Atlantean 299 ended its service after losing its top deck in a fire. Although not beyond repair, the bus was sold for scrap.

In the spring of 1983, 3 Dennis Dominators were hired from Leicester City Transport for evaluation, which then led to an order of 10 being made in 1984, and saw for the first time buses being bodied by Alexander’s. Numbered 101-110, these were the first Dennis double deckers in the fleet since the 4 Dennis HV’s of 1931. The first 7, except 105, were sporting the new simplified livery; first applied to Metrobus 501, but the remaining 3 were painted in the Kingstonian livery and were fitted with coach style seating and known as "Superdeckers". The full batch was also fitted with FM radios and in-conjunction with a new local commercial radio station called "Viking Radio"; the full batch was tuned into their station all day! No105 came delivered all white to enable a full overall advert for Viking to be applied. An official launch took place outside the City Hall on November 26th 1984 with 106 & 108 on display and the batch were put into service from the 3rd December. June 12th 1984 saw Atlantean 340 end its service in Hull when it was lost to fire whilst on service at Bransholme District Centre. Bus lanes were introduced on Beverley Road from the 30th July 1981 between Mizzen Road and the city centre, which proved to be a great asset for the Department.

A one off vehicle was purchased and placed into service from the 21st January 1985 in the form of a new Leyland National MK2. Numbered 60, this was adapted for use by the disabled by having a lift fitted at the centre door. Painted in Kingstonian livery and with 24 coach seats and room for 6 wheelchairs, it was placed into service on set routes for each day of the week, Monday to Friday, and a regular driver was allocated to operate it. On evenings and weekends the vehicle was available for private hire work and soon a second hand back-up vehicle was purchased from Leicester City Transport and was numbered 61.

KHCT was to open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 28th April 1984 when they had an open day at the Liverpool Street main works. Special exhibitions were on display as well as vehicles old and new. A new Asda store at Bilton was given a special shoppers service from the 17th May when 2 Metrobuses, numbered 529 & 530 were repainted in an overall livery for the store. The services were numbered 7 & 8.1985 saw only a few service revisions take place, one of which was the introduction of a new express service between the city centre and North Bransholme. The 3 "Superdeckers" were used and the service was numbered 99X. A new inner city circle was introduced, numbered 50 & 51 and the outer city circle service 10 was extended through the Orchard Park Estate, which now meant the service linked all the main estates in the city. This saw the withdrawal of service 71/72. These all took place on the 28th July 1985. Service 20 was re-routed through Orchard Park in order to extended to the new Tesco store, which was built at the junction of Hall Road and Beverley High Road from the 19th January 1986. A further order of 15 Dennis Dominators was placed at the end of 1985, this time seeing a return to East Lancashire’s Coachbuilders, the first time since the batch of 1939 trolleybuses. The first 3 numbered 111-113 where in the Kingstonian livery, fitted with coach seats and known as "Turbodeckers" dew to their turbo-charged engines. The rest of the batch were numbered from 120-131 and were in the standard livery. A new look coach entered into service with the Kingstonian fleet in April 1986, the first of 3 Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M’s with manual gearboxes and was numbered 50 followed by No 51 in April 1987 and No 52 in April 1988. These were all fitted with toilets, drinks machines and TV’s. August 1985 also saw the introduction of new ticket issuing equipment when the computerised "Wayfarer" machines were fitted to all vehicles replacing the "Autofare". On bus two-way radio systems were also introduced for better communication links with the inspector’s offices, the call sign being known as "Busco". Another bus was to be withdrawn due to fire damage when Atlantean 328 lost its roof on the 21st August 1985.

The biggest changes in the bus industry took place during 1986/87 when the Government was to "Privatise" the bus industry. From Sunday 27th July 1986, Kingston Upon Hull City Transport was to become a "limited" company, although this did not officially take place until August 26th, and although still owned by the City Council, they were unable to provide subsidies to their operations. From this day, all services were renumbered to become 1 to 26 and a whole new style of services were introduced. Many of the long established routes were lost and several routes were merged together. More cross-city services were implemented in order to help passengers get to and from work places etc. Frequencies were reduced; most works services lost and early evening and late night services were at a minimum. Holderness and Cottingham Road depots were closed; all services now being run from Central. The fleet, which had always been at the 240 mark, was reduced overnight to around 140 and saw the withdrawal of all 36 Scania Metropolitan’s and many older Atlanteans. Drivers were reduced from 450 to around 280 and cuts were made on all engineering and office staff. KHCT was like nothing ever witness before. 4 million had been reduced from the Council’s funds, which was equivalent to 35% of the yearly expenditure. From the 9th September 1986, schools reopened and KHCT won 47 contracts. Because of this, KHCT found themselves with a bus shortage and so many of the withdrawn vehicles from July had to be put back into service and 8 Leyland Atlanteans were purchased second hand from West Yorkshire PTE. All school services operated from Cottingham Road depot, which was reopened from this date. From the 26th October 1986, KHCT ventured out into the countryside when it won tenders on services to Hornsea and North Cave. A rota was set up and named the "Countrybus" rota.

The first new buses to be purchased by the new limited company were in January 1987, when a batch of 15 Ford Iveco minibuses were purchased for 3 new services. KHCT saw the need to "plug the market" before any "private" operators made a move. The new services commenced from Monday 26th January and ran between Cottingham Road depot and North Bransholme via Sutton Park, numbered 27 and between Holderness Road/Craven Street and North Bransholme, numbered 28. Service 29 ran from the city centre to Jalland Lodge on Bilton Grange via Rosmead Street and St. John’s Grove were a "Hail & Ride" service was provided. From the 10th May, a further service, which was numbered 39, ran between the city centre and Hawthorn Avenue via the Boulevard and Glasgow Street. These new buses were numbered 601-615 and were painted in all over maroon with gold lining and named "Royale". Each bus was given the name of a former King or Queen of England. All midibus services were also operated without fareboxes. Later in the year, a further batch of Dennis Dominators was purchased numbered 132-141 and were again bodied by East Lancashire’s. Early in the morning of the 20th March 1987, Atlantean 275 came to a sad end to its service when it left the road in Calvert Lane, hitting the brickwork of the old railway bridge. The bus was extensively damaged and 9 postmen on their way to work were badly injured. Ironically, the bus was dew to be withdrawn from at the end of the following month and sold to the author for preservation, but sadly this could no longer take place as the bus was beyond repair. Later On October 16th 1986, Dennis Dominator 120 was stolen from the bus park and taken on a rampage around the streets of Hull causing 30,000 worth of damage. The bus was returned to East Lancashire factory for repairs.

During the run up to privatisation and well after it had taken place, industrial action was to happen at regular intervals with 4 hour stoppages or full days of action as drivers and craftsmen fought for better pay and conditions. This came to a head when on the 14th May 1987 when all staff were given an ultimatum to return to work or face dismissal. The City Council threatened to take all school contracts from KHCT if the action did not stop. Staff had no choice and agreements were made between management and all staff and over the coming years, things got a lot better.

June 1988 was to see the demolition of the Holderness Road depot and Craven Park, home to Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby Club, which was adjacent to the depot, to make way for a new Morrison’s store. A further 17 school contracts were won from September 1988, several of which operated out in the East Riding of Yorkshire. For this, Cottingham Road depot was once again reopened to house the school bus fleet and the Handirider vehicles. Atlantean 329 was yet another bus to finish its days of service due to fire damage after it lost its top deck on the 29th February 1988.

The city centre was to commence in a major change when from Sunday 1st June 1987; a new "Pedestrianised" system was set up to close many main streets from traffic. Jameson and King Edward Street were to be closed to all traffic and Queen Victoria Square/Carr Lane was to become a "Buses Only" lane. July 27th was to see Cottingham Road depot close once more as all Royale services were transferred to the Central depot. At the beginning of 1987, 14 Atlanteans were loaned to Maidstone in Kent, which were to see service within the London area.

Service changes happened at regular intervals and soon private competition was to have a major effect on the company. Several private operators moved in to fill gaps, which KHCT had left, and soon, the market share of passengers was falling. This led to KHCT purchasing a private operator called "Citilink" in March 1989, which had set up a midibus service on Greatfield in November 1987, and passed several older Atlanteans over to them in a 3-tone green livery. These were then used to run on routes were competition was strong to help fight it off. Citilink was based at the Cottingham Road depot and over the next few years grew into a considerable organisation. They operated with conductors, which helped them to poach passengers from the competition.

1988/89 was to see 2 final batches of Dominators arrive, numbered 142-151 and 152-157 and then a return to Scania was made when 8 entered service late in 1989. Numbered 801-808, these were a far cry from the Scania’s of 1975, having seating for 88 and had a new look interior, with the 3-crowns on all the seats and carpeted ceilings and side panels. This interior was also applied to the final batch of Dominators. A batch of single deck Scania’s also entered service from September 1st 1988 and were put into service on the Greatfield circular. A special fare of 20p was charged to help fight off competition and the frequency was increased. These were numbered 701-706 and had coach seats fitted and known as "City Slickers". April 1989 saw the delivery of 3 Dennis Javelin coaches for Kingstonian, numbered 53-55 followed by a further Volvo B10M in 1990, numbered 56. Still wanting to show it’s history, the company painted 3 Dominator’s up in the tram, trolley and motorbus liveries for the 90th Anniversary in July 1989 and 2 videos were produced plotting the companies history, one of which included the conductors training film made back in the 1950’s. The last buses to be purchased new by KHCT came in September 1990 when a final batch of Scania double deckers entered service, these being numbered 809-816. On the 29th July 1991, 132 was extensively damaged by fire and was sent back to the East Lancashire factory to be rebuilt with a 76 seat duel-door body as the new North Sea Ferrybus and painted in the new house colours of NSF’s.

September 1992 also saw the transfer of Citilink to the main KHCT fleet and the final closure of Cottingham Road depot, soon after which was demolished to make way for student flats for the nearby University. The only parts remaining are the bottom parts of the depot walls, which surround the flats, and the original office block, which is still in use. Also during the early 1990’s, KHCT purchased the well-established York based coaching company; "York Pullman" which included 20 Bedford coaches. Prior to this, a Dutch coach company called "Kivits Reizen" was purchased to enable the coaching division to have a better foothold in Europe. Sixteen coaches were included in the sale. This was followed shortly after by a French coaching firm called "Voyage National" and 3 coaches were included in the sale.

Since deregulation, KHCT Ltd had struggled to uphold it’s position in the city dew to competition; it had been found that many passengers would board the first bus that came down the road, and as most operators were charging cheaper fares, KHCT found themselves in a serious financial position. Although the stage carriage side of the company was making money, the Kingstonian coaching division, the Engineering division, which had set up a commercial "Garage" for the public, and the other coach firms which were being operated were not making money. It was the bus side of things that was keeping the other divisions going but they were losing that much money, the company was sinking fast. This led to the decision by the City Council to sell the company, hoping that the employees would wish to purchase it, but this was not to be and so on the 10th December 1993, the company was sold to Cleveland Transit Ltd, which was an employee owned company and the sale included a total of 119 vehicles. Just 6 years short of its 100th birthday, the end had come for the cities own bus company, it now being owned by total strangers from another town over 100 miles away. Although the name of Kingston upon Hull City Transport was kept, it was never to carry with pride the 3-crowns of the City of Hull again. For the first time, the address on the side of the fleet was to say "Stockton on Tees" and although the Hull employees owned 49% of the shares, it might as well have been nil! The fleet was to retain its "Blue and White" livery but was repainted in the same style as the Cleveland fleet with a yellow band above the lower deck windows. This style was applied so that if any fleet changes were made between the two companies, it would be easy and quick to repaint any vehicle. The first Hull bus in the new livery was MCW Metrobus 519 and carried the new logo of "KHCT - Employee owners, working for you". Soon, several vehicles were transferred down from Cleveland including a batch of Leyland Leopard coaches and several ageing Atlanteans. Service cuts were made, mainly on an evening and Sunday, the fleet was reduced and staffing levels were cut, mainly on the inspector’s side, which was cut down from around 15 to 7. Competition was high and still the company struggled. KHCT then moved onto EYMS services in Willerby, Anlaby, Hessle, Cottingham and Withernsea and had started to have an effect on their revenue, but they counter acted by moving in on KHCT’s established high revenue routes, mainly by increasing its ex London Transport "Routemaster" crew operation which it had first started in May 1988 when crew operated buses were re-introduced on the 56 Longhill service.

Always known as the "Bus Wars" by staff on both companies, the situation was getting out of hand and both KHCT and EYMS were losing vast amounts of money. Although with new owners, KHCT was still in a financial mess, as was their parent company, and so the decision was made in December 1994 to sell to the mighty "Stagecoach" Bus Company. This was to come at a great time for staff as upon the take-over, all staff were given shares in Stagecoach, valued at around 2,000 and with Christmas on the doorstep, was a welcome bonus! Again the KHCT name was kept, but it also now carried "Part of the Stagecoach group" but this was not to last long as soon the name of Kingston upon Hull City Transport was to be lost forever when the company officially became Stagecoach Kingston upon Hull. Stagecoach brought in its first batch of new buses in April 1995 when a total of 15 Volvo buses with Northern Counties bodies, 3 being double decks Olympians, 817-819 and 12 being single deck B10M’s, 707-718. These were the last buses to be delivered still in blue & white. Then in July 1996, the Iveco midibus fleet was totally replaced with 14 new Mercedes midis with Alexander bodies numbered 341-354. The midis were the first buses to come in the new 3-strip livery of Stagecoach and carry the new name. These were followed in March 1998 by a further batch of Volvo B10M single deck buses with Plaxton bodies, number 719-726 and 4 new Volvo B10M Plaxton bodied coaches, numbered 78-81, for the 909 Hull-Grimsby-Sheffield Express service and the X62 Leeds service which was at first run jointly with EYMS. In September 1999, 5 Volvo Olympians were transferred from Stockton, numbered 823-827, which were part of the same batch as 817-819. This was followed by 3 more long wheel based versions, numbered 828-830. In April 1995, a joint "smart card" ticketing system was set up with EYMS were passengers could by day rover or a weekly megarider cards that could be used on all services within the city.

Since the take-over, Stagecoach could see the potential in Hull and has invested heavily in the company. Brand new premises were purchased in 1996 when on Sunday 1st September, the new Foster Street depot and offices opened at Stoneferry. Central and Liverpool Street depots were closed down and soon demolished to make way for new developments. Many service changes have been brought in over the past 10 years and passenger numbers are on a steady increase. The Kingstonian coaching division was sold to EYMS from the 1st March 1997, which included the sale of 8 coaches. A batch of 10 new MAN Alexander bodied single deck low floor easy access buses, numbered 727-736, were introduced on service 1 & 2 in May 1999, which were an instance hit with passengers. These were branded and known as "Street Surfers". These were later swapped with a batch of Dennis Darts from Newcastle in May-July 2001.

On the 5th July 1999, an open day was held at the new depot to celebrate the 100th year birthday of the former Transport Department, rides were given on 2 of the 3 "Bendy-Coaches" (numbered 95-97) used on the 909 Sheffield Express service to and from the Transport Museum and various exhibitions were on display at the depot as well as several ex KHCT vehicles from the last 50 years. Vehicle movements had always been regular with buses being transferred from other depots around the country, the biggest of which were a total of 35 Leyland Olympians with Alexander & Northern Counties bodies from 1895/1986 vintage, which came from Newcastle between February & April 1999. These replaced many of Dennis Dominators and all of the Scania double deckers. All of the Scania double and single deck vehicles were a big drain on the company’s finances as they were on lease and the cost of that was very high. The "bus wars" of the late 80’s and through the 90’s were now over, agreements had been made with EYMS over running on the same routes, and now most of the city was operated solely by Stagecoach in Hull. Most of the private operators either gave up or sold out to EYMS.

At the start of the new millennium, Stagecoach in Hull were providing a good service within the city but its biggest problem was the state of the fleet. Of the many buses brought in from other Stagecoach fleets, most of them were old and shabby. Further transfer’s of buses from other depots were still being made, some of which included a batch of withdrawn Eastern Counties bodied Olympians brought in from Mansfield, the oldest being new in 1981. Passengers knew this and were not happy to travel on old, cold and noisy buses. How could people be encouraged to travel by bus rather than a car when many buses in the fleet was so old. This led to a batch of 11 low floor easy access Dennis Tridents Alexander bodied, numbered 17025-17035 from London being introduced during July 2003 onto the 13/14 Orchard Park circular, running a ten minuet frequency throughout the main day. At the same time, a large batch of Volvo Olympians with Alexander and Northern Counties bodies were also brought up from London, all these buses replacing the ex Newcastle Olympians and many older buses which had been transferred from Mansfield in April 2002. Four new Dennis Darts with Plaxton bodies were put into service in April 2004, numbered 34570-34573 and were mainly found on the outer city circle service 23/24 (now service 10/11) which Stagecoach had won back on tender by the City Council from EYMS. In April 2006, a batch of 11 new Alexander bodied Tridents, numbered 18425-18435, were introduced on the very busy service 15 to Orchard Park/Kingswood. These were branded "Frequento" and now all the low floor fleet is known as such. More second hand Tridents had been introduced from Manchester and London during 2006/2007 and more are planned to enter service during 2008.

The city has seen many new developments over the past 20 years and as always the company has placed services were ever needed. The city centre has been completely revamped with new shopping areas and the building of Princes Quay Shopping Centre on Princes Dock, which opened in 1988. In recent years, the need for city centre housing has been on the increase and new developments are planned along the riverside areas of the Old Town. The former Victoria Dock, which was closed and then filled in during the early 1970’s, now has an extensive housing development known as Victoria Dock Village. One of the biggest developments has been the Kingswood Retail and Leisure Parks along with the extensive new housing estate, which is all north of the city. Despite these new ventures, various parts of the Orchard Park and Bransholme Estates built in the 1960’s & 70’s as well as several areas of other older housing estates have been demolished, all of which does have an effect on the companies business. There are many new housing developments rising all over the city, many of which are being built in or next to existing council estates. The 69-year-old Ferensway Coach Station closed down at the end of service on Saturday 25th September 2004 in order to make way for the new multi-million pound St. Stephens’s development, which includes a brand new interchange, retail and leisure facilities, hotels and housing. A temporary "on -street" station was set up along Bond Street and Albion Street. The new "Paragon Interchange" opened for business on Sunday 16th September 2007 when the first departure was made at 7:30 am on service 1 to Boothferry Estate with Dennis Trident 17724 driven by Steve Skipworth. The new facility is the largest bus/rail & taxi interchange in the country with 38 main bus bays and 4 coach bays. The complex also houses a control tower for both Stagecoach in Hull and East Yorkshire Motor Services staff with separate offices and canteens for both parties. All of the departure bays now face the original railway station wall, which now has all the arches opened, and a full-length glass wall with automatic doors on each departure bay. A brand new travel centre has also been opened which both bus companies as well as the railway companies use. It’s a far cry from the old, cold and draftee Coach Station built in 1935!

The Hull operation was transferred from the Cleveland Transit group in 2001 and is now run with East Midlands along with Grimsby/Cleethorpes, whose commercial operations are run by the Hull traffic office. More recently, Hull has become responsible for the commercial operations at Scunthorpe & Skegness since Stagecoach bought out Lincolnshire Road Car in 2006.

There are not many reminders of the former Transport Departments operations left around the city today. On Chanterlands Avenue North near the junction of Goddard Avenue, 3 traction poles can be found and a solitary pole stands outside the BP petrol station on Chanterlands Avenue. Several city centre buildings and buildings in Witham as does North Bridge, still have "rosesets" attached to them which were used to anchor overhead wiring and there is one remaining tram traction pole near the Goodfellowship Pub on Cottingham Road. A single traction pole also stands just near to the Drain Bridge in the central reservation along Preston Road, which was erected in readiness for the proposed trolleybus service on the Newbridge Road/Preston Road route way back in 1929. On Princes Avenue, the former trolleybus-turning circle for route 66 can be seen at Pearson’s Park opposite Westbourne Avenue. Another former tram depot was lost during 2006 when Wheeler Street was demolished following a large fire although the only remaining tramlines can still be seen in the cobbles along the former exit passage from the depot onto Anlaby Road. The only remaining former electric tram depot is on Hedon Road which is now a caravan factory and the former steam tram depot can been seen in Hotham Street as can the horse tram depot in Jesmond Gardens. The depot used in Lister Street by both the Corporation and EYMS can still be seen but no other buildings remain. On Ings Road Estate along Bellfield Avenue, 2 purpose built bus turning circle’s built in the 1960’s can still be found as can one built at the northern end of Bodmin Road on the Bransholme Estate. Tramcar 132 can be seen fully restored in its final 1930’s livery in the "Streetlife" Transport museum in High Street and there are several former KHCT motorbuses in preservation, mainly Atlantean 270, Regent 337, Regal 5, Reliance 164, Panther’s 172 & 180 and a few others although not in any fit state.

Today, 139 years after the first horse drawn trams ran in the city, the company runs well, with a fleet of around 136 vehicles of which 118 are required at peak times, operating high frequencies on nearly all main line services within the City of Hull, which today has a population of around 250,000. Good profits are being made and passenger numbers are increasing well, although no one expects to have a year like 1948/49 when 102 million were carried!

The city of Hull is truly a “Premier” city, even more so when the cities football team finally made it into the top flight of English football after 104 years of waiting. After winning the play-off final at Wembley, Hull City AFC achieved two things in one day, playing at Wembley for the first time and reaching the Premier League for the first time.

The Hull bus service is a good one, and the company still take a great pride in its operation, some old folk still call them the "Corporation" buses but soon that will become a name of the past!

Paul Morfitt.


This is in no way meant to be a definitive history and slight errors could be made due to old records being inconsistent but every effort has been made to ensure that it is as factual as possible. All photographs shown are from the private collection of the author and have been taken by several well-known photographers.