The first motor vehicle landed in Sydney in 1900, and well-to-do families quickly embraced the chance to travel as whole families; but Pyrmont’s narrow streets and poor families were hardly affected. For another forty years children played in the streets. Two circumstances tipped the balance. Streets that were sealed and widened to support trucks could also support cars; and the chemists and engineers who manned the distillery, the caneite factory and the munitions plant preferred to commute from pleasanter suburbs. By the end of the war, houses and lanes in the CSR complex had been demolished to make space for car parks. The popular cars then squeezed out trams – on behalf of its members (66,000 by 1939), the NRMA lobbied effectively for private cars rather than public transport.
For more information, visit the Pyrmont History website.