The tramway was not an immediate success, with the Board incurring heavy losses in the first few years, which had to be met by a precept on the rates. By 1908 annual losses were over £10,000, which necessitated stringent economies. Reductions in car mileage were achieved by discontinuing some services, including the Hyde to Roaches, and the Hyde to Acres Lane sections. The service from Stalybridge Town Hall to Ashton was discontinued, the Ashton to Mottram service, which almost duplicated it, being extended to serve the Town Hall when necessary.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
In 1897, Alderman John Norman, Mayor of Stalybridge, first proposed a joint tramways and electricity scheme, but it was another two years before progress on that was made. Hyde and Dukinfield had already applied to build a tramway between the their towns, then in September 1899 they were invited to join with Ashton, Stalybridge and Mossley in a joint undertaking. Although Ashton Corporation was willing to be involved in a joint tramway scheme they were not willing to participate in a joint electricity scheme and consequently withdrew. In October 1899 the four towns had reached a formal agreement and the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board was formed.
In 1927 an express bus service was introduced between Hyde and Albert Square, Manchester along with additional routes serving Dukinfield, Audenshaw, Gee Cross and a further express service between Stalybridge Station and the Central Station in Manchester. Nine new Thornycroft single-deck buses were delivered this year, along with another eighteen in 1928. On the 12th January 1928 trams were withdrawn from the Hyde to Ashton route and replaced by motorbuses. Just over seven months later, in August, trams on the routes from Ashton to Acres Lane and to Dukinfield were replaced by motorbuses and the decline of the tramway system had begun
In 1931 a decision to finally abandon the tramway services was taken, many of the tramway routes already having being superseded by motorbuses, although it was to be sometime in the future before final abandonment was possible. By 1935 there were only twenty tramcars operating and the Board was seriously contemplating replacing the remaining trams with trolleybuses. Indeed the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley & Dukinfield Transport and Electricity Board Act of 1936 actually authorised the operation of trolleybuses along tramway routes. Despite this, the Board never operated trolleybuses.
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