The Pontypridd Urban District Council tramway to Cilfynydd was authorised by an Act of Parliament which received the Royal Assent on 17th August 1901. The line was built after some difficulties and officially opened on 5th March 1905.
The trolleybus service to Cilfynydd was officially opened on 18th September 1930 and for a short while to maintain capacity the trams remained and even motorbuses were used giving a very unusual instance of a route being operated by all three forms of traction at the same time. The last tram ran about February 1931 but supplementary motorbus operation remained a feature of the trolleybus service.
Trolleybus operation continued until 31st January 1957 after which motorbuses were used exclusively. The tram and trolleybuses services had operated through the town to Treforest but, as soon as the licences were obtained the bus service ran from Cilfynydd to Rhydyfelin. This would possibly have coincided with the trolleybus abandonment had the latter not happened at quite short notice (and with little publicity).
The Cilfynydd to Rhydyfelin route became the trunk service of Pontypridd UDC but demand at the northern end would have diminished with the closure of Albion Colliery at Cilfynydd in September 1966. The terminus was at the colliery, a turning circle had been created in front of the war memorial when the trolleybus service started but was giving cause for concern as traffic increased. In 1965 the Manager was authorised to apply for a change to the outward route so that buses to Cilfynydd turned up Bedw Road and used Howell Street and Richard Street before turning back towards Pontypridd at Jones Street. This was eventually adopted, although photographic evidence indicates it was some time before the original terminus ceased to be used.
In the mid-1970s the link to Rhydyfelin was broken and buses ran instead across town to a variety of destinations.
At some point in the early 1980s there was rationalisation of the Cilfynydd and Oaklands services - the latter having previously used Corn Stores Hill whilst the Cilfynydd service used Coedpenmaen Road. There was no longer a separate service to Cilfynydd.
The route left Pontypridd along Bridge Street and after crossing the route of the Glamorganshire Canal ran along Coedpenmaen Road to join Pontshonnorton Road at Norton Bridge. It continued on that road, which became Cilfynydd Road as you got further north.
Construction of the new A470(T) in the early 1970s severed the links from both the north and south ends of Coedpenmaen Road. Buses then had to take a complicated route from Bridge Street to West Street roundabout, West Street, Middle Street, Ralph Street, Dorothy Street, Bonvilston Road, Coedpenmaen Road and Dodington Place. Only a short stretch of Coedpenmaen Road was now used and even that was in the opposite direction!
© David Beilby