Photo of the Week - Week 17:
The variant has been a dying breed since Network Direct was implemented in the years post 2009. One variant that survived was the 220 via Clonsilla Road, a single departure each way that avoided Blanchardstown Centre and operated via Coolmine Industrial Estate and Clonsilla Road. For those unfamiliar with this variant, see this Network Map I made of Blanchardstown a year or so ago. The 220 via Clonsilla Road is shown in a dash line with 220! highlighting that it was a variant of the main route. With the take over of Route 220 by Go Ahead on the 20th January 2019, this variant was renumbered 220A.
The requirement for this variant is unclear, and it seems an opportunity was lost to keep this route consistent. The variant dates back to October 1996 when Blanchardstown Centre opened. Prior to this, this area was green field and the 220 operated from Ladyswell via Hartstown/Huntstown loop, Coolmine Industrial Estate and Clonsilla Road to Blanchardstown Main Street. When Blanchardstown Centre was opened, the 220 was diverted away from Clonsilla Road to operate via the centre, except for 3 morning (0730 and 0805 ex Ballymun, 0725 ex Ladyswell) and 1 evening departures (1625 ex Ladyswell) which were kept via Coolmine Industrial Estate, obviously for the workers in this area. These services did not operate into Blanchardstown Centre. When the 220 was reduced in service in the Network Direct reorganisations in October 2010, the 0800 ex Ballymun and the 1530 ex Ladyswell were via Clonsilla Road. The 1530 was much earlier than the previous departure time via Clonsilla Road, but the next bus in the clock-face timetable was 1700 (though this would seem at least closer to the original departure time). The Go Ahead timetable introduced in 2019 pretty much followed the previous Dublin Bus timetable with regards to this diversion.