Photo of the Week - Week 19:
Another Go-Ahead route which has yet to be covered on these pages is Route 236, Blanchardstown Centre to IBM Damastown, and its shorter variant, Route 236A. The 236, when originally introduced as the "Factory-Link" service, was a circular service whose direction depended on the time of day, morning services being counter-clockwise, with evening services clockwise. More recently, towards the end of Dublin Bus operation, the route was extended to IBM Damastown, operating in a single direction only during each peak period, buses operating Blanchardstown Centre to Damastown in the morning, and from Damastown to Blanchardstown Centre in the evening. A single bus was allocated at all times, with buses heading special between the two termini to start the next run. Upon acquisition by Go-Ahead on the 20th January with other Blanchardstown services, the 236 stayed approximately the same, buses running in one direction in the morning and the other in the evening. However, a new Route 236A was introduced to fill the dead mileage that was in the Dublin Bus schedule. It therefore also operates in one direction during each peak period. In the morning, when the 236 operates from Blanchardstown Centre to Damastown, the bus returns as a 236A from Damastown to Blanchardstown Centre, with the evening being vice versa.
Map of Routes 236 and 236A (click on photo for larger version). Note that the 236A inbound does not have a stop from Mulhuddart (Old Navan Road) to Blanchardstown Centre, so though it is shown using Blanchardstown Road South, no stop is served there and the route taken is therefore at the discretion of the operator.
The 236A departs Blanchardstown Centre heading to Mulhuddart Village, and then heads north on Church Road to Tyrellstown, doing a loop of the estate before heading back Damastown Avenue to head towards IBM Damastown. On the route, one can actually see the Lady's Well, a roadside holy well along a uniqely served section of Church Road. Of note is that though the 236/A have a number of unique sections, Church Road north of Ladyswell estate and Damastown Avenue/Close, no stops have been provided on any of the unique sections. So Route 236A does not stop from Mulhuddart Village to just south of Tyrellstown, a distance of 1.7km. The 236/A also have no stops from Tyrellstown Boulevard to Damastown Road, a distance of 3.4km. This is a bit of a waste. Finally, the 236/A serve Tyrellstown estate in the same direction no matter their ultimate destination. The new schedules were a chance to rectify this, such that buses heading towards Blanchardstown Centre would serve the same stops as the 238 to Blanchardstown Centre, but this was overlooked. Initially, Go-Ahead operated the 236/A with single-deckers, but are now operated by double-deckers since the acquisition of Route 76A by Go-Ahead, the routes being interworked.