Farewell CX Route 38
The 38 route, today operating between the White Rose Shopping Centre and Gledhow has long been a very useful service, connecting several outer Leeds suburbs without the need for the passenger to change buses in the city centre.
The bus route has operated for decades, with several variations of final terminus point along the way. The Leeds City Transport 38 ran from Moortown to Whitkirk, but in WYPTE (Metrobus) or Yorkshire Rider days, the route was extended to serve the people of the new development at Colton, beyond Whitkirk.
Route 38 will be a very familiar route to Black Prince enthusiasts, you will recall it being operated by the company for several years, via a Metro WYPTE evening contract, the tender calling for Brian's buses to service the route Monday to Friday (evening only).
The daytime and weekend service at that time was operated by Firstbus, with the change of operator to Black Prince happening at teatime through the week.
After a time, Brian decided not to re-apply for the contract and the service reverted wholly to Firstbus operation.
As the 38 route was never particularly busy, Firstbus eventually relinquished the route to Metro, with the new Leeds branch of Midlands operator, Centrebus, picking up the contract.
Sometime later, the Yorkshire Centrebus operation was purchased by Arriva, becoming Yorkshire Tiger and resulting in the closure of the Leeds depot.
This left the 38 route without an operator, but Harrogate based HCT, or "connexionsbuses" thankfully came to an arrangement with Metro, agreeing to take over the operation of the route.
With government cutbacks the hallmark of the era, Metro deemed the 38 service unnecessary, with the announcement of off peak subsidy cuts.
After much consideration, connexionsbuses decided to go it alone on the 38, operating the service commercially in the off peak periods from the date of Metro subsidy reduction.
The connexionsbuses route 38 was beginning to break even in 2017, with passenger numbers steadily building and regular drivers providing good service.
2018 saw a smaller Leeds based operator register route 39, the line of route chosen covering the 38 route in its entirety.
After careful consideration, connexionsbuses made the tough decision to deregister the commercially operated 38 service.
The result of the service overlap created by the unfortunate registration of the 39 has seen numbers drop considerably on the 38.
Coupled with the impending 2019 Leeds low emission zone, connexionsbuses believe that the route cannot remain profitable into the future.
Saturday 29th September 2018 will see the final day of route 38 Monday to Saturday operation, as a special farewell, the regular connexionsbuses service will be supplemented by preserved buses of bygone eras, representing Leeds City Transport, WYPTE Metro and of course, Black Prince.
From Sunday 30/09/2018, only the Sunday service will continue to operate, provided by First Leeds and subsidised by Metro, effectively making the 38 a "Sunday Only" route until further notice.
Take a ride on a heritage bus to say goodbye to connexions route 38 on Saturday 29/09/2018.
We suggest you jump off at the terminus of the heritage bus route, the Whitkirk "Skyliner" fish and chip restaurant, to treat yourself to some fantastic fish and chips, then catch the next classic bus back along the route.
Hope to see you there!