Frances &

Frustrations of Routing the Trams Through St Stephen's Street

In the 1890s St Stephen’s Street was one of the busiest in the City, believed by some to be the one that carried the most traffic. Not only was it an important commercial thoroughfare, lined with shops and pubs, but it also provided a direct route into the City from the Newmarket Road area, and the Victoria Railway Station (now the home of Marsh).

The street had another distinguishing feature it was exceptionally narrow, and so not ideally suited to the installation of a tramway. Early photos show a busy thriving street, thronged with people and traffic. Town councillors were particularly critical of the mayhem caused by , ‘establishments taking the unreasonable liberty of stopping carts and hand barrows opposite their premises at all hours of the day regardless of public convenience, even leaving carts standing opposite their shops without a horse, which had probably been taken to a stable to feed.’

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Trams on St Stephens Street, c.1930
Trams eventually make their way down St Stephen's St, c1930