Photo of the Week - Week 5:
Clontarf's Wedding liveried Alexander Enviro500 bodied Volvo B9TL, EV88, is seen at the Howth Summit terminus of Route 31 on the 18th October 2010.
The Network Direct phases are coming thick and fast at the moment, with Cabra and Howth Road being the latest announcements. Coupled with the phases already announced, a significant part of the network is due for change, however since the initial rush of implementation things have cooled down significantly, with only rectifications to mistakes made in Phase 1 the order of the day.
The Howth Road sees only minor changes. The 29A is renumbered the 29 and is given its long awaited extension to Baldoyle Village, something that has been muted for quite some time. Interestingly, and somewhat against the principles of Network "Direct", the St. Anne's Estate routing is being kept.
The 31 continues much as it is, but with a regular frequency as opposed to the current setup where the 31B runs every so often cutting into the 31s frequency. The 31B will instead be renumbered the 31A and will be separate to the 31s frequency. No mention is made to the Strand Road loop currently negotiated by certain 31Bs, the old 31A routing, thus this may be one of the casualties of the review.
All 32s will run as 32As to Malahide, though this suffix will be dropped in favour of plain 32. The 32B will also bite the dust, replaced by the extended 29, though the Abbey Park loop will lose a bus service. Interestingly in the spate of Xpresso curtailments, the 32X is to be kept.
Finally, and the most positive of all the moves, is a note that all buses will be interlaced from Raheny. This is a most welcomed step by Dublin Bus. For many years this corridor has suffered with bunching, where two or three buses are timetabled to depart together with 15-20 minute gaps thereafter. A 5 minute frequency is being quoted in the peaks, and in the offpeak by interlacing the 31 and 32 to be every 15mins combined and interlacing this with the 29, then a 7.5min frequency can be achieved. If such a service could be maintained I would suspect a significant passenger increase along the corridor.
Clontarf's EV11 is seen operating soon to be withdrawn Route 32B on Talbot Street during blizzard conditions on the 21st December 2010.