Saturday 30 March 2024

2403.30 END OF THE X78

OK, if you don't live or visit South Yorkshire, if you're a stuck up twat that's too good to catch buses, or you live in the future from me now - you'll probably want clarity as to what the x78 is. Well it's a bus service, and one that I've used a lot. It's also one that's been around for a long time. 

On the 25th July 1927, a joint bus operation began between Doncaster - Rotherham - Sheffield and was numbered the 77. In 1933 the 78 was introduced to differentiate journeys that served a housing estate in Conisborough.

In February 1975 both routes were renumbered 277/278 with the birth of the conglomeration of local authority's operations into the South Yorkshire PTE.

In 1987 the buses were rebranded as "Fastline" and renumbered X77/X78 and in 1990 were rerouted into Meadowhall. In 1997 the X77 was withdrawn.

In 2002 the frequency was increased to incorporate the 501/601 services. Over the years cuts and COVID saw the service frequency cut from a 10 minute one to a current one of 20 minutes. 

On 7th April 2024, the X78 is to be withdrawn and replaced with the X3 which will be moved away from serving Meadowbank Road in Rotherham and rerouted through Templeborough (incorporating part of the current X1 route). The Meadowbank Road section will be served by the X1 and X2.

So the routes are still served but it does feel like an end of an era. Almost 100 years of service under the "78" banner draws to a close. But why am I talking about it? In my bus driving years, I never drove the route but it does goes past the end of my road and I have used the bus regularly. I've been a user of the service for over 20 years and the cynic in me feels that bus companies always have an ulterior motive for change. 

In a time where "car is king" few will lament the passing of another bus service but I still believe the future is in good public transport that's not run for profit. We need a revolution and our elected leaders need to get their thumbs out of their arses and take action. 

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