On 22 January 1903, the Christchurch Tramway Board held their first meeting. Amongst the members of this first transport board were names like Henry Francis Wigram (remembered in the naming of the suburb) and George Stead (founder of the Heathcote Malt Works, owner of The Press – just to name a few).
From 1880, horse and steam powered trams had rattled along Christchurch’s streets, owned by numerous private companies. This system seemed to work just fine but the push for progress around the turn of the 20th century forced the city to review its transport options. New Zealand’s other big cities already had electric trams operating and Christchurch needed to catch up.
The Christchurch Tramway Board was formed and they would be responsible for construction, purchasing and ownership of our local transport assets. They would also set up the new public transport services. It wasn’t long before their name was changed to Christchurch Transport Board (CTB).
Like the trams, trolley, diesel and petrol buses all had their respected eras on the roads – with all the tram tracks disappearing between the end of WWII and 1954.
After 84 years of service, the CTB was disestablished in 1989.
*image courtesy of Transpress NZ – http://transpressnz.blogspot.co.nz/