Photo of the Week - Week 9:
The Luas cross-city service was a mistake all the way from conception. The Green Line was long muted to become a Metro, bringing the service underground. Instead, the city big-shots decided to bring the Luas along the city streets past the major congestion block in the whole city, Trinity College. College Green has always been a black-spot, principally because there are two major blockages, Trinity College which takes up a number of city blocks and Temple Bar. With the rediculous scenario of adding 55metre trams into the mix, the city centre has grinded to a halt. This was not lost on those who planned the service, but the intention was always the socially regressive move of removing buses from this central point in the city.
Whatever your opinion on the matter, the clear point is that there is nowhere for the buses to go. The nearest areas are Westland Row, which is limited in bus priority southbound and also is a significant distance from the shopping districts of Dublin, or Christchurch, again so far from the Grafton Street area. The most sensible move now would be to remove all Taxis permanently (24hr) from College Green, potentially extending this to other areas. There may also be a need to realign College Green, potentially suspending Luas in the area until the line can be realigned to allow more traffic through. Removing the 2nd lane southbound at College Green was a mistake.
Instead of takling the problem of taxis in the city centre, the council has more timidly put pressure on Dublin Bus to remove its services from College Green. This began on Monday 29th January when Dublin Bus rerouted its Xpresso services from College Street, well all except two (33D, 51D). From this date, the 25X, 27X, 32X, 33X, 39X, 41X, 51X, 66X, 67X all were routed via Hawkins Street using Rosie Hacket Bridge. Buses turn left onto Townsend Street, Lombard Street, Merrion Square West. The 25X, 39X, 51X, 66X and 67X turn left onto Baggot Street rejoining their former routes. The 32X and 41X continue onto Ely Place to access St. Stephen's Green East rejoining their former route. The 33X now terminates on St. Stephen's Green having previously terminated outside the Heugenout Cemetary on Merrion Row. From this date, Dublin Bus also noted that the 25s and 37, 39/A and 70 would avoid using College Street and instead use Tara Street. This only made official what had been practice for a number of years, with none of the services having stops in this area.
A second round of changes will be implemented tomorrow, the 5th March 2018. Route 4 and 7 are noted as operating via Tara Street, again something which often occurs in any case, Route 145 will head northbound via Tara Street and Burgh Quay missing its stop on Pearse Street opposite the Garda Station. The 84X and 118 will terminate on Eden Quay instead of Westmoreland Street, the 116 will also head via Tara Street and Burgh Quay missing two former stops on Pearse Street and Westmoreland Street. The most interesting re-routing sees Routes 44 and 120 head via Abbey Street, Marlborough Street, Rosie Hackett Bridge and Hawkins Street. The 120 then operates via Westland Row to Merrion Square rejoining its former route. The 142 also returns to St. Stephen's Green, though only southbound which is disappointing. The 142 follows the 32X from Eden Quay to St. Stephen's Green then rejoining its former routing to Rathmines. But northbound it still uses Aungier Street, a very different city routing. And of note, is the 51D, the Xpresso that was forgotten no doubt because it didn't have an 'X' route number. It now joins the other Xpressos via Westland Row and Merrion Square. The other forgotten Xpresso, the 33D, is still officially not rerouted.
Conyngham Road's SG349 is seen operating Route 51D on Kildare Street on the 16th February 2018. It's D route number was no doubt the reason it had a few extra weeks via Kildare Street (click on photo for larger version).