Buses and Trams Around Leeds
- John Law
15th November 2024
The history of affordable public transport in the Yorkshire city of Leeds began in 1871, when horses began pulling trams around the city. Leeds Corporation purchased the network in 1893 and electrification followed soon afterwards. The system expanded, but finally ceased operations in 1959.
Leeds was also an early pioneer of trolleybuses, with a route to Farnley Moor Top opening in 1911. Two further routes later opened, as feeders to the tram system, bringing Leeds City Tramways into Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale. Unlike nearby Bradford, the Leeds trolleybuses ceased running quite early, giving way to motorbuses in 1928. Since that year, motorbuses have served the city's streets and suburbs.
Leeds City Transport continued to run a large fleet until becoming part of West Yorkshire PTE in 1974. Privatisation saw most of the services becoming part of Firstbus, the dominant operator in the city today.
Over the years, there have been many other companies running buses into Leeds. These are also featured within these pages, containing the best of the author’s collection of photographs taken over many years.