Photo of the Week - Week 3:
Harristown's SG63 is seen operating Route 140 on the new Contra-Flow bus lane on Camden Street heading towards Rathmines on the 18th January 2015.
Suffolk Street was one of the principle thorough-fares of Dublin City buses. The RTPI pole nearest St. Andrew's Church barely went beyond 2-3mins of departures due to the incredible amount of buses that served the street. However, in order to accomodate Luas works, access to Suffolk Street from Nassau Street has been removed for a period of approximately 6 months to facilitate ground works. This is a major loss to the bus network and a serious amount of changes has been necessitated. These changes were introduced on Sunday 18th January 2015.
Donnybrook's EV34 is seen turning right from Dawson Street onto Nassau Street operating Route 145 on the 18th January 2015. The hoardings which have removed access to Suffolk Street are clearly visible. Also noticeable is the terrible state of this turn, with no work done to fix this in time for the changes. It will be interesting to see VTs making this turn, which is ludacrous given the traffic island is now unnecessary.
The major changes can be broken into 3 groups:
Leeson Street Routes Northbound: The Stillorgan Road routes 46A, 145 as well as the Blanchardstown services (37, 38/A/B/D, 39/A), Route 11 and the peak hour services (25X, 32X, 41X, 46E, 66X, 67X, 116, 118) are all routed from Dawson Street onto Nassau Street. All routes stop on Leinster Street, though the stop is terribly far down the street near the junction with Clare Street. Given how far up the Dawson Street stop is, there is too large a gap. By removing some of the coach parking, it would have been possible to locate this stop on Nassau Street, albeit close to the southbound stops. Buses continue along Lincoln Place, onto Westland Row, and then onto Pearse Street. Both services have 2 stops on Pearse Street, the Stillorgan Road routes being well spaced. The two stops for the Blanchardstown services are only a few metres apart. I might need a measuring tape, but its hard to think of a bus serving two stops so close together. It's a bit silly. (For route maps see here).
Rathmines Services (Routes 14, 15/A/B, 140, 142): These services are now routed along South Great George's Street, Aungier Street and Camden Street in both directions. This realignment is to avoid delays in the Dawson Street area and will hopefully speed up the services. The buses also make use of a new southbound contra-flow bus lane at Camden Street Upper. Buses use this to Kelly's corner, continuing along the contra-flow bus lane on Richmond Street before rejoining the southbound thoroughfare. This has removed a well utilised link between Rathmines and St. Stephen's Green, a poor decision in this author's opinion. The very well patronised services between St. Stephen's Green and the Malahide Road are also removed. Given the 14 is in urgent need of a new bill to make services more reliable, it would have been the obvious choice for continuing the serve St. Stephen's Green during the Luas works, maintaining a link between St. Stephen's Green / Earlsfort Terrace with the Malahide Road and Rathmines. (For route maps see here).
Routes 25/A/B Southbound: These buses will no longer serve Baggot Street and Leeson Street southbound. Instead these buses will follow the rest of the Lucan Road services (26, 66/A/B, 67) in using Clare Street, Lincoln Place, Westland Row and Pearse Street. (For route maps see here).
Phibsborough's SG12 is seen turning from Lincoln Place into Westland Row on the 18th January 2015 operating Route 37.
Two other city re-routings also came into force today. Routes 33, 41/A/B/C now use Cathal Brugha Street and Marlborough Street to serve Abbey Street. It is a pity that a bus stop on Marlborough Street could not have been provided. (For route maps see here). The upper end of Talbot Street is also closed requiring the rerouting of Routes 27A, 29A, 31/A/B, 32 and 130 via Gardiner Street, Sean MacDermott Street and Marlborough Street. (For route maps see here). The Howth Road routes will also revert to an Abbey Street terminus during for the period of the works. Other noted changes are new timetables for on Routes 11, 145 and all Blanchardstown services (37/38's/39's/70) in order to help with increased congestion from the closure of Dawson Street. The 145 has also been shortened to terminate at Ballywaltrim Cemetary (except for a peak hour and a few schools departures to/from Kilmacanogue) with the 45A being extended from Ballywaltrim to Kilmacanague, also with a new timetable. More on this next week.
Harristown's AX513 is seen on South Great George's Street on the newly rerouted 15 service to Ballycullen Road on the 18th January 2015.
What was noticeable about the changes was the effort that Dublin Bus and the NTA put into the changes. Notices of the changes, in the form of well printed leaflets, were handed out on buses over the weekend. The buses I travelled on over the weekend also had a collection of these notices available. There was also an army of bus inspectors around the streets today to ensure that they would be no confusion about the new rerouted services. Given the cold, it is commendable that the Dublin Bus team braved the weather to ensure that everything ran smoothly. Another welcomed change came in the form of the on-street RTPI information, which displayed all the correct routes as well as the Dublin Bus App. This differs from previous changes which would generally need a few days before being fully correct.
Ringsend's AX518 is seen listing its way down Pearse Street on the 18th January 2015, though the cambre of the road also doesn't help. Note the new double-width bus lane. With so many new routes serving Pearse Street and a multitude of stops, the provision of a double width bus lane is progress. Though with no double-yellow lines or any form a clearway, it was also a great location for those wanting on street parking. The NTA need to push Dublin City Council to rectify such, especially relating to the bus lanes on Anungier Street which should be 24-hour clear zones.