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madannie77

All five horse tramway lines in Sheffield were operated by the Sheffield Tramways Company from the opening of each line until July 1896 when the corporation took over.

The Nether Edge route was opened on 24th December 1877, only a week before the notice in the Sheffield Telegraph posted by vox.

According to Charles C Hall the line was opened without a Board of Trade inspection. The line was built by the Corporation and leased by the Company, so arranging the inspection should have been the responsibility of the Corporation.

I wonder if impatience on the part of the Company which meant they started operating a service on 24th December 1877, to which the Corporation objected on the grounds of no inspection, resulting in the Company continuing regardless and issuing the notice.

This is conjecture on my part, but the use of the word "continue" in the notice suggests some kind of dispute, and the notice only refers to one of the five lines in operation.

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madannie77

It certainly happened elsewhere. In Manchester and Salford most of the city centre & inner-city lines were built by the corporations with the inter-urban lines being built by the operating companies.

A quick look through part of my library tells me that Bradford, South Shields, Oldham and Huddersfield were also places where the corporation built the tramways.

In Huddersfield the corporation found themselves with a lot of tramway and no-one interested in operating services, so they went to Parliament and obtained a special act of parliament enabling the Corporation to operate the trams, thus becoming the first municipal operator, in 1882!

This special act of parliament was necessary as under the terms of the 1870 Tramways Act corporations could build lines but not operate them. The act also allowed companies to build lines with the corporation's consent, but the company would then be responsible for the upkeep of the tramway and the roadway between the lines and for a short distance either side (the exact distance I can't remember at the moment).

It was the Tramways act which also included the corporation's right to purchase the whole private undertaking after 21 years (and every 7 years thereafter if not purchased after 21).

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madannie77

I think it was 6 inches of road surface either side of the track that the tramway had to maintain. I wonder if that's still the case? There certainly seems to be a 'no mans land' crack that develops between supertram's concrete trackbed and the tarmac road surrounding it, that nobody ever wants to fill in.

Eighteen inches either side of the track was the distance which had to be maintained by the builder.

Tramways Act 1870, clause 28

As far as I can tell from looking at the various Acts of Parliament appertaining to the Supertram the same rule appplies.

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