The Proposed Tramway


Spurred on by the success of the Hayling Billy and the new transport links to the island, a further rail system, solely on South Hayling, was proposed. This railway was intended build on what had already been achieved. Sadly, the vision was not realised and this article is about what might have been.


The following is based on entries in the London Gazette.

24 November 1899

Notice was given that William Paynter of Southsea, Harry Richard Trigg of Hayling and Edwin Bellfield of London, jointly proposed a Parliamentary Bill for the construction of a light railway at South Hayling. This was to be a circular route, starting and ending near the Southsea and Hayling Ferry. Although not stated in the proposed Bill, it was likely to be a tramway. It was quite ambitious in that it linked the South Hayling railway station with the ferry and centres of population. The proposed route is drawn on the 1919 map. Most of the proposed railway alignment is off-road. I have found no record of this proposed Parliamentary Bill being passed.


25 May 1900

Notice was given that Edwin Bellfield of London, Thomas Pollock of Manchester and Joseph Philips Bedson of Manchester proposed a similar scheme which served the Ferry, the station but terminated in Eastoke (further east) and did not include any tramway to the more northerly hamlets of South Hayling. Mr Edwin Bellfield was involved with both proposals so I assume that this plan replaced the earlier one. The changes are likely to have been submitted to reduce costs and address objections received. Like the previous proposal, very little of the route occupied space on public roads. The route is described as 3 railways;

  1. Southsea and Hayling Ferry to terminate near the junction of Rails Lane.
  2. Connection with railway 1 from a westerly direction, up the full length of Staunton Avenue.
  3. Connection between railway 1 and railway 2 in an easterly direction.


30 November 1900

Notice was given that a further application was made but this time Mr Bellfield was not included as an applicant. The changes to the May 1900 application are as follows;

  1. The terminus at the ferry was to be re-located on the land occupied by the ferry company. This meant that the line had to cross-over the public road at this location to follow the original alignment to the south of the road.
  2. The tramway joined the public road just before the junction with Staunton Avenue.
  3. The tramway left the public road and re-joined the original alignment at the junction of what is now Beach Road. More details of the tramway were given as:
  4. Track gauge 4ft 8 ½ inches (The same gauge as that of the Hayling Billy Railway).
  5. Motive power will be electricity or other mechanical or animal power approved by the board of trade.

I have found no record of this proposed Parliamentary Bill being passed.


7 April 1905

‘The Board of Trade have, after modification, confirmed the following Order made by the Light Railway Commissioners:- Portsmouth and Hayling Light Railway Order, 1905, authorising the construction of a Light Railway in the borough of Portsmouth, and in the rural district of Havant, in the county of Southampton, including a conveyor bridge over the Langstone channel. (This is the first mention of the conveyor bridge but this may have influenced the change of terminus location, at the ferry, presented in the November 1900 notice.)

The Evening News of 3rd April 1903 did run a very interesting article about the Conveyor bridge proposal, complete with an illustration and technical details. See .

The Evening News of June 1903 included a short article describing the opposition to the bridge by the Hayling Island Community.


30 Nov 1909

Clearly, difficulty was encountered in construction authorised by the 1905 Bill which led to this application announced in 1909.

‘Notice is hereby given, that application is intended to be made to the Light Railway Commissioners by the Portsmouth and Hayling Light Railway Company in the present month of November for an Order to revive and extend the period limited by the Portsmouth and Hayling Light railway Order of 1905 (hereinafter referred to as “the Order of 1905”), for the compulsory purchase of lands required for and to extend the periods limited by the said Order for the completion of the works authorised by the Order of 1905 and so far as be necessary or expedient for affecting these purposes to amend or extend the provisions of the said Orders.’

This was likely to be the result of continuing opposition on the Island.


15 Nov 1910

Board of Trade announcement that the application for revival, extension of time and compulsory purchase requested on the 30th November was approved.


8 Aug 1913

The works authorised under the Portsmouth and Hayling Light Railway Order of 1905 are abandoned. Compensation to those affected by the works were advised to make their claims known by 30th September 1913.

‘Pursuant to an Order of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, dated the 16th day of July 1913, entitled Ex parts the undertaking authorised by the PORTSMOUTH AND HAYLING LIGHT RAILWAY ORDER 1905, any Landowners or other persons whose property has been interfered with or otherwise rendered less valuable by the commencement, construction, or abandonment of the said railway authorised by the Portsmouth and Hayling Light Railway Orders, 1905 and 1910, or any portion thereof, or been subjected to injury or loss in consequence of the exercise of the compulsory powers of taking property given in the said orders……………………’

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