Rail versus Road
Isle of Wight Observer September 3, 1864
Rail versus road debate – 1864
THE PIER TRAMWAY – The new tramway carriage has during the past week been extensively patronised. Mr T B Ayshford, of Drury-lane and Walham-green, London, the maker, has certainly constructed an elegant carriage, well adapted for the Pier Company’s traffic.
RAIL V. ROAD – During the first week of working the line between Ryde and Shanklin the average number of passengers each day was about 800; how, then, has this fact affected the road? Two four-horse coaches retired from the Ventnor road; the original Rocket still running and doing a good business. The Star ‘bus retired from the Shanklin road. Woods’ ‘bus retired from the Sandown road. The posting business was likewise greatly affected, because the masters cannot see what to do. On the other hand, three ‘bus and six cabs ply between the station and the pier at Ryde, and seem to do a good trade; and of course many other cabs get jobs. An omnibus runs between the station and the hotel at Sandown. An omnibus runs between the station and the Chine at Shanklin; and four four-horse coaches a day run between that station and Ventnor. Besides which there are now some cabs to be had at the Shanklin station. As soon as the traffic settles down, we believe there willl be some demand at Sandown and Shanklin for as many cabs as may be superseded by the rail at Ryde; it will be merely a change round, with the prospect of a more regular trade than heretofore.
This is a photograph of a coach and four outside the Osborne Hotel on Ryde Esplanade. (Image courtesy of IW County Record Office.)