Liverpool retro: 19 nostalgic pictures of city trams down the years as mayor plans revival

Trams could return to Liverpool more than 65 years after the last ever streetcar trundled down to Pier Head.

Liverpool was served by an extensive tram network over a century ago, with the first electric service operating from Dingle in 1898. The last tram ran from the Pier Head in 1957 after they were phased out but they could be set to make a return to the city.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said back in October 2023 that a tram network across Liverpool could be looked at again if transport funding was made real under a future Labour government and a general election is looming.

Earlier this month, Mr Rotheram unveiled plans to deliver a trackless tram network from Liverpool city centre to John Lennon Airport from 2028. This would be delivered alongside services to both Anfield and Bramley Moore Dock in time for the European Championships in the same year.

Plans for a new ‘Merseytram’ network were first proposed back in 2001, comprising a loop around the city centre, before heading over three lines, including one towards the airport. However, after infighting and soaring costs, the plans were scrapped in 2013.

With the Metro Mayor recently launching his campaign to secure re-election in May, for a third term, trams are once again on the agenda.

Mr Rotheram announced he wants to open three new Merseyrail stations by 2030 as the first policy pledge of his campaign and during follow-up questions hinted he might also have a solution for the age-old problem of travelling by public transport to the airport.

The nearest train station to LJLA is currently Liverpool South Parkway, three miles away. Commuters then need to catch the 80A or 86A bus service. It's a convoluted process to travel to an airport crowned ‘best in the UK’ by Which? Travel.

It’s a similar situation for public transport access to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium and Everton’s new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium, neither of which are directly served by Merseyrail train stations. Speaking on X, Mr Rotheram said: “Watch this space for a solution to the airport and football stadiums.”

And so, with a return of the humble tram looming on the horizon, we have trawled through the archives to put together a gallery of the glory days when streetcars were a common site in the city.