From omnibus to ecobus London's Transport Museum
A social history of London's public transport, 1829-2000
1919-1938
 
       
 
           
integrated bus transport  
Regulation and unification    
The London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) was taken over by the Underground Group in 1912. This created a virtual monopoly on transport and became known as the 'Combine'. It also allowed income from the buses to subsidise the less profitable Underground.  
   
During the 1920s, there was a rapid increase in motor bus popularity, over the tram. In 1922 a wave of new independent operators began to challenge the dominance of the LGOC. Many of the new operators ran erratic timetables, often turning up at peak times to 'poach' passengers. The LGOC managed to fight off competition through its reliability and reduced fares. This competition on the streets caused chaos, and eventually regulation had to be introduced to impose some kind of control. The London Traffic Act of 1924 set strict limitations on the number of buses allowed to operate on certain routes. Poster showing Underground statistics for 1923


Underground and
bus service statistics for 1923 in poster form
click thumbnails to view enlarged images


Poster showing Underground statistics for 1923

 
These restrictions restored LGOC's dominance, and with little competition from smaller operators it was able to channel its profits into improving its bus designs.  
     
 
1919-1938
The golden age of transport in London
The era of Ashfield and Pick
Design for London Transport
Integrated bus transport
Regulation and unification
Buses and London Transport
Bus developments
Getting around the network
Expanding London
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Buses and London Transport      
In 1933 all of London's bus companies were merged under the London Passenger Transport Board (known as London Transport or LT). This created the single largest bus fleet in the world. London Transport continued the LGOC's policy of standardisation. Part of this programme meant adopting the mass-produced STL-type, first introduced in 1932, as its standard vehicle.  
The flagship of LT's fleet, the RT-type, was first introduced in 1939. It combined all the latest innovations in modern vehicle design. However, only 150 were built before the Second World War. After the war, production resumed, and the new RT-type buses were delivered in 1947. Mass-production of the RT-type increased during the 1950s, and in 1956 LT opened a new factory at Aldenham to expand its operation and maintain its fleet of 12 000 buses. Poster, The Giantside, Frederick Herrick 1921

The Giantstride
Frederick Herrick 1921
click thumbnail to view enlarged image
 
Photograph of RT-Type bus on Whitehall, 1950s

RT-Type bus on Whitehall, 1950s
 
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Further reading  
A A M Durrant, Aldenham Works. Large scale bus overhaul, London Transport, 1956
A L Latchford and H. Pollins, London General. The story of the London bus 1856-1956, London Transport, 1956
 
   
related topics  
1919 - 1938 : The era of Ashfield and Pick
1919 - 1938 : Bus developments
 
   
Next: 1919 - 1938 :  
  Bus developments
Getting around the network
Expanding London
     
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