Photo of the Week - Week 6:
Phibsboro's Enviro500-bodied Volvo B9TL, VT52, is seen at the Ongar terminus of Route 39A on the 28th December 2010.
Route 39A is one of Dublin's oldest routes. It dates back to 1926, introducted by the DUTC as a Clonsilla extension to then recently inagurated 39 service to Blanchardstown. By the early 1980s, with the conplete transfomation of Blanchardstown into a major suburban hosing area, the 39 was reorganised to serve Clonsilla via the Hartstown/Hunstown loop. At this point the 39A existed only as a few services each day which avoided this loop, continuing straight from Clonsilla to Blanchardstown Main Street via the Clonsilla Road.
By the late 80s/early 90s, it existed as the only service to and from Clonsilla, the 39 operating down the Clonsilla Road to Shelerin Road before serving the loop and terminating at Coolmine Fire Station. The CitySwift reorganisation of the Blanchardstown corridor, implemented in June 1993, saw the cancellation of the 39A, along with the 39B and 39C, with all 39 services operating to Clonsilla, and soon after to St. Josephs Hospital.
The opening of the Blanchardstown Centre saw the brief return of Route 39A services. Route 39 terminated at the Shopping Centre, with Route 39A serving the loop, then Blakestown Road before continuing to Clonsilla. This setup did not last long, with the 39 reverting to its current form around Blanchardstown, looping in an out of the centre in both directions.
Route 39A returned in September 2001 with 4 inbound services in the morning peak that avoided Blanchardstown Centre, Village, and Clonsilla Road, operating via Blanchardstown By-Pass instead. Outbound services began in June 2005, ammendments which saw a large increase in 39A peak hour services.
Route 39A became the main (10min frequency) service to Blanchardstown upon the implementation of the Network Review changes on the 31st October 2010. The new route saw it amalgamated with Route 10 operating from Belfield to Ongar. This route reorganisation was long overdue, but the new route embodies the principles of Network Direct, with a fast, frequent to and from Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and the housing estates of West Blanchardstown.
The only issue with the plan is the service to Blanchardstown Village. Route 39 is slightly too infrequent. Route 38 also serves the village, though its routing is long winded, and is only every 40mins. My opinion would be to merge Routes 38 and 38A into one service via Blanchardstown Village but avoiding Castleknock, on a 20mins frequency, giving a total service to the village of 6 buses an hour. The extended 37 to Blanch Centre, when this happens, will provide the link from Blanchardstown to Castleknock, and if tere are significant schools traffic, that is something that could be covered by universals and extras.
AX455 has been well travelled in the last six months. Originally in Donnybrook, it spent a short spell in Phibsborough, before eventually ending up in Harristown. It is often to be found on Route 27B, signifying its aquisition on the basis of losing those 07 EVs to Summerhill that were the stallworths of that particular route. AX455 is pictured while operating out of Phibsborough, on the first day of the 39A service on Waterloo Road on the 31st October 2010.