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The London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport.


The London Passenger Transport Board was set up by the London Passenger Transport Act 1933 enacted on 13 April 1933. The original hybrid bill was introduced by Herbert Morrison, who was Transport Minister in the Labour Government until 1931. As a hybrid bill it had been possible to allow the legislation to roll over into the new Parliament under the incoming National Government. Although heavily populated by Conservatives, the new government decided to continue with the Bill with no serious changes, despite its extensive transfer of private undertakings into the public sector. On 1 July 1933 the LPTB came into being, covering the "London Passenger Transport Area".

The board[]

The LPTB had seven members: a chairman and six other members. The members were chosen jointly by five "appointing trustees" listed in the Act:

The chairman of the London County Council; A representative of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee; The chairman of the Committee of London Clearing Banks; The president of the Law Society; and The president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The Act required that the board members should be "persons who have had wide experience, and have shown capacity, in transport, industrial, commercial or financial matters or in the conduct of public affairs and, in the case of two members, shall be persons who have had not less than six years' experience in local government within the London Passenger Transport Area."

The first chairman and vice-chairman were Lord Ashfield and Frank Pick, who had held similar positions with the Underground Group. Each member of the board had a term of office of between three and seven years, and was eligible for reappointment.


Latham and Cliff become chairman and vice-chairman of the successor London Transport Executive in 1947.

London Passenger Transport Area[]

Map of the area of the London Passenger Transport Board 1933 - 1947. Simplified map based on leaflet issued by LPTB, July 1933. The London Passenger Transport Area is outlined in red, with the board's "special area", in which it had a monopoly of public transport services, indicated by a broken black line. The boundary of the Metropolitan Police District is shown as a blue broken line, and the County of London is shaded in grey. Broken red lines indicate roads over which the Board was allowed to run services outside its area.

The London Passenger Transport Area had an approximate radius of 30 miles (48 km) from Charing Cross, extending beyond the boundaries of what later officially became Greater London to Baldock in the north, Brentwood in the east, Horsham in the south and High Wycombe in the west.


Under the Act the LPTB acquired the following concerns:



– (Making a grand total of 402.23 route miles under LPTB's Tramways brand)

Buses and coaches[]

  • London General, London General Country Services, Overground, Tilling & British Automobile Traction, Green Line Coaches

Further history[]

The LPTB was empowered to enter into co-ordination agreements with the main line companies concerning their London area suburban services.

Ninety-two transport and ancillary undertakings, with a capital of approximately £120 million, came under the authority of the LPTB. Central buses, trolleybuses, underground trains and trams were painted in "Underground" and "London General" red, coaches and country buses in green – all coaches were branded "Green Line". Already in use on most of the tube system, "UNDERGROUND" branding was extended to all lines and stations. The name was said to have been coined by Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield in 1908 when he was General Manager of the Underground Group.

The LPTB embarked on a massive capital investment programme that extended services and reconstructed many existing assets, mostly under the umbrella of the 1935–1940 "New Works Programme". It involved extensions to the Central, Bakerloo, Northern and Metropolitan lines; new trains and maintenance depots; extensive rebuilding of many central area stations (such as Aldgate East); and replacement of much of the tramway network by what was to become one of the world's largest trolleybus systems. During this period two icons of London Transport were first seen – 1938 tube stock trains and the AEC Regent III RT. Although curtailed and delayed by the outbreak of World War Two, the programme delivered much of the present Underground system.

The LPTB continued to develop the highest traditions of corporate identity, design and commercial advertising that had been put in place by the Underground Group. This included stations designed by Charles Holden; bus garages by architects such as Wallis, Gilbert & Partners; and more humble structures such as bus stops and shelters. The posters and advertising issued by the LPTB were often of exemplary quality and are still much sought after.

The LPTB was replaced in 1948 by the London Transport Executive under the Transport Act 1947. It was effectively nationalised, but with considerable autonomy. The London Passenger Transport Board continued to exist as a legal entity for nearly two more years, being formally wound up on 23 December 1949.[2]


  1. London's Trams and Trolleybuses, John R. Day, published by London Transport 1979
  2. See Wikipedia page [1]