|Trolleybus on A459|
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A Trolleybus system is a public transport system operating on public roads that was used in the UK during the 20th century but subsequently discontinued with the mass replacement of the systems by diesel powered busses.
The system used overhead lines to power electric trolleybuses, which used pneumatic wheels rather than tracks. These had the advantage that like trams they did not directly produce emissions at the point of use but did not require tracks embedded in the road, making their operation and implementation cheaper.
Almost all UK trolleybus systems replaced tramways. The existing tram overhead wiring for current collection was altered to accept trolleybuses and their movements, and the tram tracks abandoned. With the expansion of towns and cities, new routes and route extensions were made in almost all the systems established pre-WW2.
Worldwide there are currently about 350 systems in operation with several introduced quite recently, such as Rome (2005), and Lecce (2012). With the current drive to reduce road traffic-generated pollution in cities the trolleybus may come back into general use in the future, but any new systems will likely use vehicles with batteries so that movement away from the overhead wiring is possible. A possibility exists of a split between operations and infrastructure so that a public body like a city council or regional transport organisation would install the overhead wiring and allow private company vehicles to use it on payment of access charges. This would need to be be accompanied by regulations that forbad any buses that emitted exhaust fumes from operating on the route.