Photo of the Week - Week 42:
Harristown's VG30 is seen on Glasnamana Place in the Tolka Estate operating new Route 83A to Kimmage on the 6th October 2012.
Well Network Direct hasn't been the all solving plan to save Dublin Bus from its previous inefficiencies. However, the vast majority of the current issues can be directed at the National Transport Authorites unreasonable demands on scheduling, low running time and clockface timetabling that means buses generally turn up at the same time, and Dublin City Council's need to rid the city streets of parked buses. In a radial city like Dublin, where the majority of journeys start or finish in the city, cross-city routes are in general to the detriment of the travelling public as they are much harder to regulate than shorter routes. However, for these issues, there has been many upsides. Many of the ideas in Network Direct were good in concept, the 145 to Heuston Station for example. And there are many others. A lot of the fat was trimmed off, with service duplication being reduced. The removal of diversionary loops, such as those at Monkstown Farm on the 46A, the Blanchardstown Village section of the 39A or the Chapelizod section of Route 25A were all extreme positives, showing a modern company moving away from the one bus serving all approach. As part of this review, services to the narrower parts of Tolka Estate finished, and though it provides interesting photos for us bus enthusiasts, in the interest of a suitable bus network for our city, so we all hoped.
Phibsborough's AX585 is seen operating former Route 19 on the very narrow Glasnamana Place on the 13th August 2011.
Tolka Estate was first served by Route 36 in 1951. This was replaced with Route 19 in 1961, and it continued on in this form until late August 2011, when Route 19 was withdrawn. Route 83 was rerouted down Griffith Avenue, serving the section of road known as Tolka Estate, which is wide enough for bus operation. Its not even questionable that the rest of the route is not fit for bus operation. For that reason, the routing is slow and tedious. However, due to local pressure groups, the narrow Tolka Estate routing is back, once an hour in terms of Route 83A (a diverted Route 83). Because of this, the 83 now no longer has a consistent service along its routing, with Ballygall Road East having 40min gaps. The fact that the Ballygall Road East section is by far the busiest of its unique stops hasn't stopped the NTA bowing to small local voting opposition groups to the detriment of the many who actually use the service. The map below shows the two routes, it shows the distances between the Tolka Estate Stops previously removed of service in blue, now served by Route 83A, and those of the former Route 83. As can be seen the largest distance is 400m, somewhat significant for an elderly or infirm person, but the reality is that given the route only operates a one-way service in the estate, this stop is also over 200m from an inbound stop on the 83A in any case.
What could be more signifyng of Irish politics, then a small group of people who previously had something, retaining it to the detriment of the overall society as a whole, by making quite a song and dance. Reading the party political site that claims credit for the reinstatement of the Tolka Estate service, the councillor speaks of this being step one in terms of getting back a service to Finglas Village. The last time I looked this route actually serves Finglas Village, or again a hundred or so metres away from the main junction within Finglas Village. Incredibly, this estate never actually had a service to Finglas Village, given the fact that the old 83 routing "never served" the estate and thus could never have linked it with Finglas Place and Main Street, all short walks from the current routing. Given the way the NTA have buckled here, don't be surprised to see your local services diverted to serve every cul-de-sac or boreen en route to its terminus.
Harristown's VG18 is seen operating new Route 83A on Glasnevin Avenue on the 6th October 2012.