Pontypridd was early with its electric tramway in the hands of several companies which failed and the Pontypridd UDC eventually took over the tramway on 5th March 1905 and ran from the town centre to Treforest railway station.
In 1929 Pontypridd UDC obtained powers to operate motorbuses and trolleybuses, and, on 18th September 1930, the Treforest to Cilfynydd section was converted to trolleybus operation. Seven English Electric SD6WTB trolleybuses (TG379,381,383,385,387,389.391) numbered 1-7 with English Electric 32-seat single-deck bodies. The first motorbus service had commenced in June 1930 when a service between Pontypridd and Rhydfelin commenced using four Bristol B-type single-deckers (TX9539, TX9541, TX9543 & TX 9545) nos. 1-4.
Further motorbus services were established throughout the 1930's, especially to Caerphilly (jointly with Caerphilly UDC), to Ynysybwl (jointly with Red & White and Rhondda) and to the Treforest Trading Estate.
New buses were added and the future of the trolleybuses looked doubtful at the end of the war with no purchases after 1946 and although the matter of the higher running costs of trolleybuses was raised several times, a decision was not made until it was agreed that the system should be abandoned from the 31st October 1956. However a delay in the arrival of six Guy Arab IV double deckers resulted in a stay of closure until 31st January 1957.
New buses arriving in the fleet over the next few years included the AEC Reliance, which was to become the standard single-deck vehicle, whilst the AEC Regent V was purchased as the standard double-decker.
Under local government re-organisation in 1974, Pontypridd UDC became Taff-Ely District Council. The Transport Department was little changed but the flett name was changed to the name of the new Taff Ely District Council.
Second hand Leyland Atlanteans joined the fleet from Newport and Southampton in 1982-3 and the last buses to arrive with the council fleet were three East Lancashire bodied Dennis Lancets
On the 26th October 1986 under the 1985 Transport Act the Council set up an 'arms-length' limited company known as Taff-Ely Transport Ltd., effectively ending municipal services after over 80 years, although the Council still retained the majority shareholding.
Taff Ely 3 (NNY760E), an AEC Regent V with Metro-Cammell H34/26F body photographed in Pontypridd. 23 July 1980
Photograph copyright Carl Berry
Taff Ely 43 ( E43RDW ), a Volkswagen LT55 Pacer duel purpose 25 seated bodywork which was new to Taff Ely in September 1987 and seen at Pontypridd on 09/04/1988.
Photo copyright Carl Berry
Taff Ely No 83 (976 ETX), an AEC Reliance 2MU3RA
with Roe B44F body is seen in Taff Street, Pontypridd
Notes: Believed to be heading on service to the Cemetry.
Photograph Copyright Ken Evans
Taff.Ely 85 (TDW 315J), a Leyland Atlantean PDR1A/1with Alexander H43/31F body was one of seven similar vehicles purchased from Newport Transport in 1982. It was new to Newport in April 1971 as fleet no. 15. It was photographed on 29 June 1985 at Taff Ely´s Glantaff Garage.
Photo copyright Richard Field
Taff Ely 95 (JNY366D), an AEC Reliance with Willowbrook 45 seat bodywork which was new in 1966. It is seen on schools duties in Pontypridd a few months before withdrawl.
Photograph copyright Carl Berry
Pontypridd U.D.C. 51 ( GNY915 ), a Bristol L6G with Beadle B32R body was photographed in 1991 adjacent to the Magic Bus Co. yard in Glasgow. Does any one know what happened to it after it was withdrawn in 1973 before it arrived in Glasgow 18 years later ? Does it survive today ?
Photos supplied and copyright Keith Till