London in the 1920s and 1930s

The 1920s and 1930s brought important innovations to improve safety, comfort and efficiency for people travelling around London. They were sorely needed. The move from horse-drawn vehicles to motorized ones brought a dramatic rise in fatal road accidents in the Capital. There were 186 road deaths in 1901, but this leapt to 1362 people killed in 1929. Not until 1934 were compulsory driving tests and an urban speed limit of 30mph (48kmh) imposed on drivers.

By the 1920s, buses had overtaken trams in popularity. Covered top decks and pneumatic tyres made buses more comfortable, and many new routes were introduced to link up London's new suburbs. Buses were also cheaper to modernize and maintain.

Electric trolleybuses were introduced, which were powered using the same overhead lines as trams but rode on wheels rather than rails. Trolleybuses could be steered like a motorbus and there was no expensive track to maintain. They remained in use until the introduction of diesel buses after the Second World War.