Site of Penrhyn Hill tramway crossing, Penrhynside

Site of Penrhyn Hill tramway crossing, Penrhynside

Old photo of tramway at top of Penrhyn HillFrom 1907 to 1956, drivers of motor vehicles needed to be alert here because trams had the right of way across the main road. The old photos, courtesy of the L&CB Tramway Society, show how the tram tracks emerged from their segregated right of way up Penrhyn Hill to cross the road and continue along Bryn-y-Bia Road towards Llandudno.

The upper photo shows the tramway soon after construction, when there was only one track for both directions. The tram has just crossed the main road and has entered the segregated track – now the downhill side of the dual carriageway. Bryn-y-Bia Road is in the background.

The lower photo, taken in the 1950s, shows a double-deck tram crossing the road as it travels towards Colwyn Bay. The ‘Llandudno Welcomes You’ sign is out of shot to the left, and the main road curves around to the right.

Old photo of tramway at top of Penrhyn HillThe summit of the tramway was on Bryn-y-Bia Road, a little west of the crossing. The tramway operated all year round, not just in holiday season, but was forced to close on 28 December 1908 by a snowstorm. High winds caused snowdrifts to accumulate at the top of Penrhyn Hill, and staff struggled to return trams to the depot in Rhos-on-Sea. On the following day drifts also blocked the track in Llandudno. Trams began to run again that afternoon east of Rhos-on-Sea but Llandudno was without trams for the whole day.

Initially trams didn’t operate on Sundays. The tramway company proposed Sunday services for Llandudno in 1910 and funded a referendum, but almost twice as many residents voted against as for. This was despite the trams being well used on Christmas Day and Good Friday, which were regarded as being just as holy as the Sabbath.

With thanks to the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Tramway Society

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