Photo of the Week - Week 15:
Donnybrook's AV387 is seen operating a 114 service to Blackrock Dart Station, with Three Rock Hill in the background, on the Sandyford Road on the 10th March 2012. The green van to the right of the bus in the background is parked in the bus turn about bay formerly used by the 114.
The 114 was the first ever route started by Dublin Bus, beginning in February/March 1987. This week's photo of the week celebrates the 25th Anniversary of this route, a landmark which Dublin Bus seemed unwilling to mark. Bus Eireann have taken to their 25th with a new logo on their website, while the logo also appeared on their new fleet of vehicles. With Dublin Bus' new vehicles one might think that their 25th might be marked, however it probably won't happen. It's a pity in many ways that Dublin Bus hasn't taken to a celebration of how far the company has come over the last 25 years.
This year should see a fully low floor fleet, with the final withdrawals of the RV class of buses. Its incredible to think of how modern the fleet is nowadays, given the fleet that Dublin Bus acquired. The 114 represents one of very few Dart Feeder survivors, a failed CIE concept that took years of trade union talks but proved to be very ineffective. Dublin Bus has seen through some much more successful ideas, from the LocaLink services of the late 80s, to the CityImp and CitySwift services of the 90s. The recent round of "Network Direct" cutbacks have not been so successful, a mixture of unqualified NTA supervision with a basic disregard for proper scheduling resulting in a degraded service on most corridors. However, it would be unfair to say the concept was flawed, and there has some great route improvements along the way.
Donnybrook's AV92 is seen at the current 11 terminus on Blackthorn Road operating a 114 to Blackrock on the 25th June 2011.
The 114, when introduced, operated between Blackrock and Kilcross via Sandyford Industrial Estate. It replaced Route 6A, which had operated from the City to Sandyford Industrial Estate. It was however also meant to replace Route 6, which gained a brief reprieve, and overall its frequency was that which was first envisaged. On the 10th July 2006, the 114 was extended beyond its previous terminus of Kilcross to Ticknock Hill Estate. The service is not the most utilised and one wonders will this service be a victim of the current round of service ammendments.
Donnybrook's AV152, prior to the its LED acquisition, is seen on the 114 turning right at Lamb's Cross on the 7th October 2011.