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Nowadays the overhead wiring of a tramway, whilst still visible, does not need to be visually intrusive or detract from the view.

Pictures of good and bad practice [260kb]

Comparison between tram and trolleybus wiring

The Design of Good-Looking Tramway Overhead Equipment - An article by David Hartland

A circular on good design for tramways by the Royal Fine Art Commission

The older overhead wires and fittings were much larger and heavier than those used on modern tramway systems. Nowadays, the use of insulating nylon suspension cords eliminates the need for the substantial porcelain insulators and metal attachment "ears" which once drew attention to the overhead hardware.
Alternatively, stainless steel suspension wires can be used and these blend-in by reflecting the colours of their surroundings.

In photographs, which have not been falsified in any way, the overhead wires are rarely visible as they do not show-up against the sky. People returning from a stay in continental cities with trams, are rarely able to describe the overhead system because, although they know it was there, they soon became accustomed to it.

By carefully planning the routes in Bath to avoid crossing the view of historic buildings and by placing the wire close to existing buildings, the visible effect will be minimised.

With suitably styled street furniture, the appearance of a city with trams can sometimes be better than one without.

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