WestYorkshireBusesWebsite . . . . service X33 history

On Saturday 27th January 2007, Service X33 operating between Bradford and Sheffield was withdrawn by Arriva Yorkshire. 

Arriva claim that the service was not commercially viable. Here we take a look at the important service that has linked West and South Yorkshire for over 35 years

Service X33 was limited stop and operated as follows

Bradford Interchange, Cleckheaton Bus Station, Spenborough Baths, Heckmondwike Green, Dewsbury Bus Station, Bywell Road, Wakefield Westgate Station, Wakefield Bus Station, Belle Isle Depot, Sandal Castle Inn (to Sheffield), Walton Lane (to Bradford), Walnut Tree, Newmillerdam Dam Inn, Wood Lane/Barnsley Road, Seckar Lane, Shaw Lane/Staincross, Wakefield Road/Laithes Lane, Barnsley Bus Station, Dodworth Hunters Avenue, Meadowhall Centre Bus Station, Brightside Jenkins Road, Sheffield Interchange


Photos are provided by Alan Watkins (SYT Leopard), John Law (West Riding Leopards), Tony Traction (Bradford Traveller Olympians), and Mark Amis (all others)

October 1969 - White Rose Express services are introduced between West and South Yorkshire using the newly opened M1 Motorway. Included in this network is a service between Bradford and Sheffield similar to the X33

Daily Daytime Timetable From 1983

To Bradford   To Bradford  
Bradford Interchange 05   Sheffield Bus Station 05  
Heckmondwike Green 27   Barnsley Bus Station 40  
Dewsbury Bus Station 37   Wakefield Bus Station 10  
Wakefield Union Street 56   Dewsbury Bus Station 29  
Barnsley Bus Station 26   Heckmondwike Green 39  
Sheffield Bus Station 59   Bradford Interchange 59  

January 1977 - By now service X33 operated every 2 hours calling at Birkenshaw, Batley, Dewsbury & Barnsley and X34 operates every 2 hours via Wakefield & Barnsley. These services were operated by Metro Bradford, South Yorkshire PTE, West Riding and Yorkshire Traction, providing one vehicle each. Journey time was 109 minutes

March 1983 - Service X33/X34 was revised as service X33. Operated by Metrobus Bradford, South Yorkshire PTE, West Riding, Yorkshire and Yorkshire Traction. Service runs hourly daily. Buses depart from Bradford and Sheffield at 05. Journeys take 114 minutes end to end. PVR is 4 buses. Buses used at this time included Metrobus Leyland Leopard 1529 and Yorkshire Traction Leyland Leopard 166 which carried orange White Rose Express brandings on the standard fleet liveries of the time

July 1985 – A new style White Rose Express branding is introduced. Leyland Tiger 1610 operated by Metrobus was the first vehicle in this multiple blue and white livery. Leyland Olympian 5511 was also new in this livery. Other vehicles that carried White Rose Express livery included Yorkshire Traction’s MCW Metrobus 704. The livery was phased out a few years later

August 1986 - Deregulation, service now operated by Yorkshire Rider Bradford, West Riding and Yorkshire Traction. South Yorkshire's Transport also operated occasional connecting journeys between Sheffield and Barnsley. The timetable is unchanged. As well as White Rose Express liveried vehicles, other buses operated on the X33 at this time included for Yorkshire Rider, Gold Rider branded Leyland Olympians, for West Riding, Fastaway branded Leyland Tigers and for Yorkshire Traction Fastlink branded Olympians and Tigers

June 1988 - South Yorkshire's Transport had stopped working journeys on the X33 by this time. The service was now operated by West Riding (2 buses), Yorkshire Rider Bradford (1 bus) and Yorkshire Traction (1 bus).

September 1990 - Due to the opening of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, buses now call at the new Meadowhall Interchange. The timetable was not altered as buses already ran past the site of the centre, so no extra time was required to make this call. The opening of Meadowhall did have a negative impact on timekeeping though, as buses were caught up in traffic queues on the M1 at busy times

April 1993 – Yorkshire Traction acquire 4 East Lancs bodied Volvo B10M double deckers from Lincoln City Transport. Painted in ‘Fastlink’ livery, these vehicles will now operate Yorkshire Traction’s journeys on the X33

October 1993 – West Riding purchase 4 Wright Endurance bodied Volvo B10Bs 406-409. These single deckers will become the regular vehicles on West Riding Group operated X33 journeys for the next 7 years. White Rose Express route lettering is carried on the windows

May 1994 – The service is still operated by West Riding (2 duties), Yorkshire Rider Bradford, Yorkshire Traction. The timetable is still near to identical to the one operated 10 years ago. Journeys operated by Yorkshire Rider and Yorkshire Traction would operate into Sheffield via Fitzalan Square with an alighting stop provided on Flat Street. Which operator operated which journeys is shown in the table below

  To Sheffield To Bradford
West Riding 0618aX, 0656a, 0805, 1005, 1205, 1405, 1605, 1805, 2205b 0710c, 0805, 1005, 1205, 1405, 1605, 1805, 1935bX, 2005, 2205b 
Yorkshire Rider 0700, 1105, 1505 0905, 1305, 1705
Yorkshire Traction 0905, 1305, 1705 0730d, 1105, 1505, 1905e
a - Wakefield to Sheffield. b - Runs to Wakefield only, c - Wakefield to Bradford, d - Barnsley to Bradford, e - Runs to Barnsley only
X - This bus performed West Riding's duties on Service X32 between Leeds and Sheffield, extra X33 journeys were operated to get the bus back to Wakefield

November 1996 - West Riding Volvo B10Bs 406-409 were all repainted into the new simplfied West Riding livery. Yorkshire Rider Bradford is now Bradford Traveller

February 1997 - Yorkshire Buses take over the 2 duties operated by West Riding. Volvo B10Bs 406-409 pass from West Riding's Belle Isle depot to Yorkshire Buses' Heckmondwike depot. The buses gain Yorkshire Buses fleetnames but continue to wear West Riding livery. 

April 1997 – Bradford Traveller give up their working on service X33 and it passes to Yorkshire Buses. Leyland Olympian Alexander 5222 operates the last duties operated by Bradford Traveller. The Yorkshire Bus Group now have 3 out of the 4 duties

October 1997 – A swap of workings took place with the Leeds to Sheffield X32 service. The one Yorkshire Traction duty on the X33 joined the Yorkshire Traction X32 duty so they now ran 2 out of the 3 duties on that service. The West Riding bus on the X32 now moved to the X33 meaning all of service X33 was now in the control of the Yorkshire Bus Group

January 1998 - Yorkshire Buses were now Arriva Yorkshire. The first full sized bus in the fleet to receive Arriva livery was B10B 406. Soon afterwards all the B10Bs were repainted and gained X33 route branding. The White Rose Express name was also reinstated and used on the branding

Mon to Sat Daytime Timetable From 1998

To Bradford     To Bradford    
Bradford Interchange 05   35   Sheffield Interchange 05     
Heckmondwike Green 27   57   Meadowhall Interchange 15     
Dewsbury Bus Station 37   07   Barnsley Bus Station 40    
Wakefield Union Street 00   28   Wakefield Bus Station 05   35  
Barnsley Bus Station 23      Dewsbury Bus Station 25   55  
Meadowhall Interchange 45     Heckmondwike Green 37   07  
Sheffield Interchange 56      Bradford Interchange 59   29  

April 1998 – Extra short journeys were added to the service meaning it now operated every 30 minutes between Bradford and Wakefield. The timetable between Wakefield and Sheffield was adjusted reducing the journey time end to end towards Sheffield by 3 minutes.  The service between Barnsley and Sheffield were now numbered 33 with buses displaying "X33 Barnsley Connecting for Sheffield" on the destination displays. The route branding was ammended showing only the X33 operated part of the service. Alexander Strider bodied Volvo B10Bs or Dennis Lances generally operated the short journeys and were the main backups if any of the usual B10Bs were not available

September 1998 – The Extra journeys between Bradford and Wakefield were withdrawn on Monday to Fridays. 

February 1999 – The Extra journeys between Bradford and Wakefield were withdrawn on Saturdays leaving the core hourly service. The numbering of the Barnsley and Sheffield as 33 was discontinued. B10Bs 406-409 lost their X33 branding and gained 'Arriva Express' lettering instead.

April 2000 - Departures on Service X33 moves from the Barnsley 'Yorkshire Traction' Bus Station to the Barnsley East Bus Station at the other side of the railway lines. A revised route is introduced within Barnsley as a result

Mon to Sat Daytime Timetable From 2000

To Bradford   To Bradford  
Bradford Interchange 45   Sheffield Interchange 05  
Heckmondwike Green 13   Meadowhall Interchange 19  
Dewsbury Bus Station 26   Barnsley Bus Station 46  
Wakefield Bus Station 49   Wakefield Bus Station 16  
Barnsley Bus Station 19   Dewsbury Bus Station 38  
Meadowhall Interchange 42   Heckmondwike Green 51  
Sheffield Interchange 59   Bradford Interchange 16  

July 2000 – The service was relaunched as the “City And Town Shopper” with new buses and a new timetable. To improve reliability the number of workings was increased from 4 to 5 buses on Monday to Saturdays. Buses now leave Bradford 20 minutes earlier at 05 but still arrive in Sheffield at 56 meaning the end to end journey time is now 131 minutes. In the opposite direction, buses continue to depart at 05 but now arrive at 16 also now with a journey time of 131 minutes. This also meant that there was now half an hour layover time at Bradford to absorb any late running caused by traffic congestion. The attempt maintain a half hourly frequency with service X32 between Barnsley and Sheffield limited the changes that could be made to the Sheffield end. 7 Volvo B10BLE Wright Renown single deckers are purchased for the service. They have high backed seats and prove a big improvement to the B10Bs used previously. The service is also now low floor

July 2001 - Clarksons Coaches begin operating service X33. This operation consisted of a single Monday to Friday journey at 2125 from Barnsley to Wakefield and was withdrawn soon afterwards

September 2001 – Capacity problems started to be come apparent with the single deckers not being able to cope. Some of Arriva Yorkshire’s new Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7 double deckers started to be used on busy journeys

October 2001 - The new Wakefield Bus Station opened meaning X33 journeys towards Sheffield were altered to use ths bus station. Previously journeys Sheffield bound operated from outside the station on Union Street. Buses towards Bradford moved into the new bus station and also received a revised route in Wakefield City Centre

August 2002 – The B10BLEs are transferred away from the X33 after only 2 years and a replaced by brand new DAF Optare Spectras.

June 2005 - Construction work on the new Barnsley Interchange begins. X33 departures move to the main Bus Station and then move again a few months later to the interim interchange

April 2006 – The service is reduced to operate every 90 minutes with the number of workings reduced from 5 to 3. Layover time at each end was reduced to just 5 minutes. This lead to the service becoming very unreliable as late running could not be absorbed at the termini

January 2007 – The service is withdrawn. Alternative slower stopping services cover various parts of the route between Bradford and Wakefield. Arriva advise passengers between Wakefield and Sheffield to use services provided by Stagecoach Yorkshire, or rail services


Thanks to the contributors who provided information for this page.

Photos were provided by Alan Watkins http://passengertransportexecutives.fotopic.net/

John Law http://nationalbusco.fotopic.net/

Mark Amis http://markamis.fotopic.net/

Have you got any further information or photos of the X33, if yes contact me

Copyright West Yorkshire Buses Website 2007, Last revised: August 09, 2009.