These two services were one of the earlier manifestations of the pro-electric traction policy advocated by the new General Manager, C. T. Humpidge, who took up the post in early 1951. Reductions in electricity tariffs and increases in the cost of diesel had helped to swing the economics back in favour of electric traction.
Work started on the extension in April 1953 but proceeded quite slowly, being carried out by overhead staff in between other work. Progress was such that the first trolleybuses could run as far as Little Horton from 8th November 1954.
The extension from that point took services up St. Enoch's Road, which had rather jocularly received that name in honour of Enoch Priestley, who as chairman of North Bierley U. D. C. had extracted the building of this new road and tramway to Wibsey as part of the settlement associated with the absorption of that district into Bradford. Trolleybuses first ran up that road to St. Enoch's Road (Top) and Wibsey on 24th April 1955 and to Buttershaw on 8th April 1956, the roads in the estate having to be hastily completed to allow the service to start.
A spur was added along Horton Park Avenue in January 1957 and first used on 6th May 1957. This served both football (Bradford Park Avenue) and cricket grounds, Yorkshire County Cricket Club being a peripatetic team playing several matches a season in Bradford.
It had always been planned to link the service across the City to Eccleshill, but work in the centre prevented that at first. The through service was inaugurated on 3rd November 1957 but was converted to motorbus operation from 19th February 1964.
These services always started from Tyrrell Street and the only changes to services occurred as the City Centre was re-modelled and affected the route at the bottom of Little Horton Road. A series of small changes culminated in the outbound service being diverted to Princes Way from 21st September 1969. This was the last short stretch of new trolleybus route to open in Bradford.
The spur along Horton Park Avenue closed on 2nd July 1969, whilst the last trolleybuses ran on these services on 31st July 1971.
Service numbers were allocated as follows:
St. Enoch's Road (Top) - 44
Wibsey - 45
Buttershaw - 46
Little Horton - 47
Services had always been operated from Thornbury depot, but the closure of the Allerton service created space in Duckworth Lane depot for the services to be operated from there from 1st March 1971 for the last five months.
© David Beilby