Donnybrook's then brand new GT83 is seen operating Route 114 to Ticknock Hill on the 3rd August 2013.
Routes 113, 114 and 115 were feeder routes operating from Blackrock Station. Routes 113 and 114 were officially DART feeder services, Route 115 being introduced later was not. The DART feeder services were an interesting concept, an attempt at a hub and spoke system whereby the new electrified railway would be the hub and these feeders would be the spokes. A much more detailed description of the DART feeder concept can be read here.
Route 113 was the first route to be introduced on the 7th December 1986, a number of months after the first DART feeder services. It operated from Blackrock Station to Cabinteely (The Park). It operated Monday-Saturday, with the 20min frequency peak service requiring two buses, with the off-peak/night frequency of 40mins being provided by one bus. The bus paralleled Route 45 through Deansgrange and the Clonkeen Road to Cornelscourt. The bus then went towards Cornelscourt Hill Road terminating in the Park estate, on Park Drive at the shops. The terminus bus stop pole was still in place when the first Google Streetview images were taken, and can be seen here.
Of note is the non-use of route number 112. This route number was assigned, but to a Blackrock to Dundrum service which never ran. The 17 already did link Dundrum and Blackrock, however for a DART feeder service, I would guess the plan was for it to go direct and not the major detour via Belfield. Route 114 was also discussed at this time, however it was contentious as it was to be a direct replacement for Routes 6 and 6A.
Route 114 was eventually introduced circa February/March 1987, which given the formation of Dublin Bus on the 7th February 1987 means that Route 114 was most probably the first route introduced by the fledgling company. It operated from Blackrock Station to Kilcross. It directly replaced Route 6A, which was discontinued on the same day, and followed its routing from Blackrock to Sandyford Industrial Estate, via Carysfort Avenue and Leopardstown Road. It continued out of the industrial estate via Blackthorn Road, serving Sandyford Road and terminating in Kilcross housing estate, sharing its terminus at the time with former Route 48B.
Daytime operation was approximately every 25mins, requiring two buses at any time, while peak operation of approximately of every 20mins required 3 buses. At night and on Saturday, the requirement was principally for one bus providing a frequency of every 45mins in either direction, with some overlap where two buses operated around duty start/finishing times. There was no Sunday service.
Donnybrook's former AV92 is seen at Blackthorn Road in Sandyford Industrial Estate on the 25th June 2011.
The 113 was not very successful, and on Monday 19th September 1988, it was cut back to a peak hour only service Monday-Friday, with a PVR (peak vehicle requirement) of just one bus. Route 6 which had survived against all expectations when the 114 was introduced finally was withdrawn, its last day of operation being the 18th March 1989. This left the northern end of Newtownpark Avenue without a service, and some Route 114 services were modify to travel to/from Blackrock via Newtownpark Avenue in its entirety instead of Carysfort Road (probably soon after as opposed to on the same date). There were 8 such services from Kilcross Monday-Friday, with 6 services from Blackrock.
With the withdrawal of Route 6, this also left the Carysfort area of Blackrock without a direct link with St. Vincentís Hospital. So along with the new services via Newtown Park Avenue, certain services were also extended to St. Vincentís Hospital. There were 5 departures to St. Vincentís Hospital, and 4 departing from St. Vincentís Hospital Monday-Friday. One of the services each way also operated via Newtown Park Avenue instead of Carysfort Avenue. In both directions, Blackrock was a timed departure point, meaning that technically it was possible to get the train to Blackrock and connect with the bus to St. Vincentís. The proximity of Sydney Parade Station to the Hospital though may have made this unnecessary.
The 113 was finally withdrawn on the 27th December 1989. No doubt the competition of the direct Route 45 was its issue. It seems strange that years later, with the withdrawal of Route 45 and the rerouting of Route 84 through Cabinteely to Blackrock (Temple Road), that the 84 was not brought into Blackrock Station terminus to bring back the connection. This would have removed the circuitous 84 routing in Blackrock. The 114 remained and had the same timetable for the entire 90s. A small change effected the routing at Barton Hall Road in Sandyford Industrial Estate which had been realigned at this stage.
Donnybrook's former AV133 is seen operating Route 114 on the Blackglen Road on the 30th July 2011.
The 115 was first introduced on June 16th 1997 operating from Blackrock Station to Ballyogan. Like the 113 and 114, it was KC-operated from introduction. It differed from Route 114, branching off on Carysfort Avenue to serve Stillorgan Park, Stillorgan Shopping Centre, Kilmacud Road Upper, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Sandyford Road passing Kilcross Estate, left at Lambís Cross up Hillcrest Road, Kilgobbin Road, Ballyogan Road to Ballyogan Estate.
It was introduced for a period of two months at which time the trial would be reviewed to see if the service warranted a full time service. Services were Monday-Friday, with a PVR of one bus. Morning services ran from 0740 (first from Ballyogan) to 1045 (last from Ballyogan). The afternoon evening services began at 1450 (from Blackrock Station) to 1910 from Blackrock Station. With garage to terminus running times, both would fit into 5hr 40min suggesting that both were driver work-outs. The 115 was not successful, and was withdrawn following the two months trial.
The 115 was reintroduced in November 1999 as part of the Stillorgan QBC enhancements on exactly the same routing as before. All the departures were previous departure times from the original trial, with services from Ballyogan at 0740 and 0915, and services from Blackrock at 0830 and 1745.
On the 27th November 2000, the 114 had a reduction in service. Services to and from St. Vincentís Hospital were withdrawn. Services from Kilcross reduced from 32 to 26 Monday-Friday, and from 23 to 19 on a Saturday. There were still services via the full length of Newtown Park Avenue.
Route 115 was modified in February 2001 due to roadworks on Hillcrest Road to install a footpath. The original announcement was the buses were to be diverted for the duration of the works, however with the size of the footpath, and the resulting narrowing of the road, buses never returned. The new route took Route 115 through Sandyford Village. It thus turned left before Kilcross, operating through the village, before rejoining its original routing on the Kilgobbin Road.
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 next change to effect both Route 114 and 115 occurred on the 1st September 2001. A redesign of traffic flow in Sandyford Industrial Estate due to the new motorway and increased traffic levels, saw a one way system being introduced in the triangle created by Barton Hall Road, Blackthorn Road and Blackthorn Avenue. Route 114 was diverted via Blackthorn Avenue on its Blackrock bound leg, whereas Route 115 was diverted via Blackthorn Avenue and Barton Hall Road on its Ballyogan bound leg.
On the 23rd September 2002, Routes 114 and 115 were modified once more, both avoiding Corrig Road and Carmanhall Road due to traffic. Instead Route 114 buses used Blackthorn Road directly from Blackthorn Drive to Barton Hall Road in both directions (then as per one-way system). The 115 followed the new traffic flow of buses approaching from Kilmacud Road Extension, turning right onto Blackthorn Avenue then left onto Blackthorn Drive heading to Ballyogan. On the return, it was Blackthorn Drive, right onto Blackthorn Road, left Blackthorn Avenue and then onto Kilmacud Road Extension.
Donnybrook's then brand new GT99 is seen departing the Ticknock Hill Terminus loop for Blackrock Station on the 31st August 2013. It is very unusual to see two buses at the 114 terminus, it being a low frequency route. The reason was that GT92 was on a break, the driver deciding for an extra long break in Ticknock as opposed to returning to the depot.
On the 10th July 2006, Route 114 was extended to a new terminus in Ticknock Hill housing estate. The Kilcross terminus was vacated, buses continuing past the entrance to Kilcross, turning right at Lambís Cross onto Blackglen Road before turning right into the estate just after Lamb Doyleís pub. Buses proceed though the estate before terminating at a purpose-built terminus at the foot of the hill on which the housing estate stands.
Services via the full length of Newtownpark Avenue still continued, though significantly reduced with 4 services ex Ticknock and just two ex Blackrock. Interestingly all lunch hour services went via Newtownpark Avenue, which meant that Carysfort Avenue had no service from 1040 to 1510 from Blackrock and 1130 to 1600 from Ticknock, a quite confusing scenario. This situation was addressed on the 15th January 2007 with the introduction of a new timetable which saw an increased service for Route 114, especially in the early afternoon. With this timetable, services via the entire length of Newtownpark Avenue were further cut with 3 services from Ticknock and two from Blackrock.
On the 8th September 2008, Route 115 was extended to Belarmine. This was as part of a wider reorganisation of services to Belarmine, with the 47 service to Donnybrook beginning that day also. Buses still continued to serve Balloagan, buses leaving the Kilgobbin Road to loop around Ballyogan before returning to the Kilgobbin Road in both directions. The route was extended along the Kilgobbin Road to Stepaside, turning right at the crossroads towards Belarmine, taking the first entrance to the estate before terminating where the 47 terminates today.
Donnybrook's former AV78 is seen having just departed from the Blackrock Station terminus on Bath Place operating Route 114 on the 3rd September 2012.
Route 115 was withdrawn as part of a major review/cutback of services, last operating on Friday 24th April 2009. The 114 was also affected by this review, with a new timetable introduced on Monday 11th May 2009. This timetable was Monday-Saturday, and continues until this day except for some very minor tweaks to some evening peak hour services. Its introduction saw the end of services via the entire length of Newtownpark Avenue, which last ran on Friday 8th May 2009. This timetable also brought about the night-time cutback of the 114, with the last service from Blackrock now 2100, compared to 2320 which had been the last bus from Blackrock Monday-Saturday since the inception of the route. The route became officially low-floor in October 2009. It stopped being a DART feeder service a few years ago, when the DART Feeder concept finally fell into non-existence on the 11th June 2014. With the 114 as the solitary survivor, one wonders what the future holds for Blackrock and its local services.
Route 114 has appeared on these pages quite often for such an infrequent suburban service. Photos of AV84 in and around Ticknock Hill Estate can be found here. A short history of Route 114 was original placed on the site to celebrate its 25th year, and can be found here. Finally, a small feature included a Route 114 photo when the route was allocated GT-class buses back in 2013. Other notable photos of Route 114 on the internet are Pat Gill's photo of a rare allocation of WV52 to Route 114 and Gavin Ward's photo of SG15 operating Route 114. Tony Murray managed to catch WV44 operating Route 114.
Donnybrook's GT87 is seen at the Blackrock Station Terminus of Route 114 on the 18th April 2014.