London Passenger Transport Area
|Formation||1933 (London Passenger Transport Act 1933)|
|Extinction||1948 (Transport Act 1947)|
|Headquarters||55 Broadway, Westminster, London|
|London and within 30 miles (48 km) of Charing Cross|
The London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) was the organisation responsible for local public transport in London and its environs from 1933 to 1948. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and brand was London Transport.
The LPTB was set up by the London Passenger Transport Act 1933 enacted on 13 April 1933. The bill had been introduced by Herbert Morrison, who was Transport Minister in the Labour Government until 1931. Because the legislation was a hybrid bill it had been possible to allow it to 'roll over' into the new parliament under the incoming National Government. The new government, although dominated by Conservatives, decided to continue with the bill, with no serious changes, despite its extensive transfer of private undertakings into the public sector. On 1 July 1933, the LPTB came into being, covering the "London Passenger Transport Area".
The London Passenger Transport Board's financial structure was not the same as that of outright nationalisation, which did not occur until the London Transport Executive was set up on 1st January 1948. When the LPTB was formed in 1933, the companies taken over, notably the Underground Group and Thomas Tilling's London operations, were 'bought' partially with cash and partially by the issue of interest-bearing stock - C stock - authorised by the enabling Act, which meant that those former businesses continued to earn yields from their holdings.
The LPTB had a chairman and six other members. The members were chosen jointly by five "appointing trustees" listed in the Act:
The Act required that the board members should be "persons who have had wide experience, and have shown capacity, in transport, industrial, commercial or financial matters or in the conduct of public affairs and, in the case of two members, shall be persons who have had not less than six years' experience in local government within the London Passenger Transport Area."
The first chairman and vice-chairman were Lord Ashfield and Frank Pick, who had held similar positions with the Underground Group. Members of the board had a term of office of between three and seven years, and were eligible for reappointment.
Latham and Cliff became Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the successor London Transport Executive in 1947.
The London Passenger Transport Area had an approximate radius of 30 miles (48 km) from Charing Cross, extending beyond the boundaries of what later officially became Greater London to Baldock in the north, Brentwood in the east, Horsham in the south and High Wycombe in the west.
|London Passenger Transport Area 1933-1947|
The London Passenger Transport Area is outlined in red, with the LPTB "special area", in which it had a monopoly of local road public transport, shown by a broken black line. The boundary of the Metropolitan Police District at the time is shown as a blue broken line, and the County of London is shaded in grey. Roads over which the LPTB was allowed to run services outside its area are shown by broken red lines.
Within the special area services operated by the LPTB, it did not need road service licences, and no person or undertaking was allowed to provide a public road service without written permission from the LPTB. In the London Passenger Transport Area outside the special area, the LPTB was required to hold road service licences.
Under the Act the LPTB acquired the following concerns:
The LPTB was a quasi-public organisation akin to a modern QUANGO with considerable autonomy granted to its senior executives. It enjoyed a more or less full monopoly of transport services within its area, with the exception of those provided by the Big Four railway companies such as the Southern Railway. Consequently, it was empowered to enter into co-ordination agreements with the mainline railway companies concerning their suburban services. It was, to a limited extent, accountable to users via The London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee.
Ninety-two transport and ancillary undertakings, with a capital of approximately £120 million, came under the LPTB. Central buses, trolleybuses, underground trains and trams were painted in "Underground" and "London General" red, coaches and country buses in green, with coaches branded "Green Line". Already in use on most of the tube system, "UNDERGROUND" branding was extended to all lines and stations. The name was said to have been coined by Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield in 1908, when he was General Manager of the Underground Group.
The LPTB embarked on a £35 million capital investment programme that extended services and reconstructed many existing assets, mostly under the umbrella of the 1935-1940 "New Works Programme". Although only about £21 million of the capital was spent before World War Two broke out, it allowed extensions to the Central, Bakerloo, Northern and Metropolitan lines; built new trains and maintenance depots, with extensive rebuilding of many central area stations (such as Aldgate East); and replacement of much of the tram network by what was to become one of the world's largest trolleybus systems. During this period, two icons of London Transport were first seen: 1938 tube stock trains and the RT-type bus. Although curtailed and delayed by the outbreak of World War Two, the programme nevertheless delivered some key elements of the present overground sections of the Underground system. However, the most profound change enacted by the Board, through the new works, was the transition from tram to trolleybus operation alluded to earlier. In 1933, the LPTB had operated 327 route miles of tramways and 18 route miles of trolleybuses. By 1948, these totals were 102 and 255 miles respectively, mainly by eliminating trams in North London. The final disappearance of trams, in 1952, was regretted by some sections of the staff and the public, but in terms of impact on users, this was probably the most visible and dramatic change in the period. The last of the 653 trolleybuses which ran were replaced by buses by 1961.
The LPTB continued to develop its corporate identity, design and commercial advertising that had been put in place by the Underground Group. This included stations designed by Charles Holden; bus garages by architects such as Wallis, Gilbert & Partners; and even more humble structures such as bus stops and shelters. The posters and advertising issued by the LPTB were often of exemplary quality and are still much sought after.
The LPTB was replaced in 1948 by the London Transport Executive, under the Transport Act 1947. It was effectively nationalised, being taken under the wing of the British Transport Commission, which also ran much of the nation's other bus companies, an amount of road haulage, as well as the nation's railways, but it still retained considerable autonomy. The LPTB continued to exist as a legal entity until wound up on 23 December 1949.