Photo of the Week - Week 32:
Donnybrook's AX463 is seen on Castlepark Road approaching its Dalkey Terminus on the 7th October 2010.
Route 8 is one of the most historic of them all. Route 8 was the last tram service that went into the City Centre of Dublin, replaced by buses in 1949. Running along the south coast of Dublin, Route 8 was an incredibly busy service. With the extension of housing into Sallynoggin and onwards towards Ballybrack, initially Route 7A and then Route 7 became high frequent routes of their own, somewhat reducing the service to Dalkey. However, it was still a high frequency service well into the 80s. The death knell was the introduction of the DART, which paralleled Route 8 for basically its full route. Thus, the service was reduced, again in favour of the 7 services which served areas further away from the new DART service. This culminated in the withdrawal of the route in July 2001. However, this was not the last of Route 8. A local Dalkey based councillor, Eugene Reagan, brought a case that Dublin Bus had breached EU Laws by removing the service. Thus in December 2005, Route 8 was reinstated, albeit a bare minimum service. Interestingly the route now avoids Dun Laoghaire village, for so long the focal point of the route.
Donnybrook's AV347 is seen operating Route 8 on O'Connell Street on the 23rd December 2010 prior to the route's extension to Mountjoy Square.
Though the AX46x batch live on the 7/8, its a great coincidence that the only two photos of Route 8 that I have in Dalkey are of AX463. The image below is taken at the Dalkey Terminus of Route 8, whereas the top image is taken on Castlepark Road. Castlepark Road is interesting in that it was added to the network due to the withdrawal of Route 8 back in 2001, but now is served by Route 8. With the 59 now serving Dalkey, buses used Castlepark Road as per their current arrangement to serve more of Albert Road. Then, when the 8 was reinstated it was decided not to run the 8 via Dun Laoghaire Village. Instead departing Dalkey it serves Ulverton Road, CastlePark Road, and then Glenageary Road Upper, York Road, Mountown Road, before joining the 7 routing at the church in Monkstown Village. It is strange, given all the comotion that was made of Route 46A's withdrawal from Monkstown Farm, that Route 8 was diverted via there to compensate.
Donnybrook's AX463 is seen at the Dalkey Terminus of Route 8 on the 29th December 2011.