The End of Route 45:
Donnybrook's Sightseeing Bus, AV398, is seen operating Route 45 to Oldcourt on the first pick up stop on Merrion Square North on the 18th May 2012. This was my last ever photo of one of Dublin's most famous of bus routes.
Route 45 was one of the most famous of all Dublin's Bus routes. Synonomous with heading to the Seaside, the 45 was a highly frequent route to the seaside suburb of Bray. With a terminus on the Bray seafront, this author has many memories of KDs and RHs sitting in the blistering summer sunshine next to the little stalls selling buckets and spades.
The DUTC introduced Route 45 in the summer of 1926, operating from the City to Blackrock. A year later it was extended to Bray. The Esplanade was the terminus of choice for the 45 for most of its existence, operating a one way loop. Buses turned left off Bray Main Street down Quinsborough Road and onto the Strand Road, also known as "The Esplanade". Terminating near the junction of Putland Road, the 45 returned via this road to The Vevay and back onto Bray Main Street heading to Dublin.
Donnybrook's AV328 is seen at the Oldcourt terminus of former Route 45 on the 13th March 2011. This terminus is now unserved, though the 45A does pass right outside.
Donnybrook's AX467 is seen on the one service via Bray Esplanade that existed in the last Route 45 timetable, on Bray Esplanade on the 23rd April 2012.
The Vevay got a service southwards with the running of buses to Wolfe Tone Square from the late 1930s. There were only a few of these but their number would grow as the years continued. In the early to mid-70s, these Wolfe Tone journeys were extended to Oldcourt, the present 45 terminus. At this stage it was just less than half/half, a situation that would continue to the mid 00s, when Oldcourt took over as the terminus of choice with the Esplanade only having much fewer services.
Donnybrook's VT32 is seen at the Merrion Square West set down stop of Route 45 on the 4th November 2011.
Donnybrook's AV330 is seen operating Route 45 on the Boghall Road on the 23rd April 2012.
In 2004, the highly frequent town service Route 145, introduced in 1995, got extended into the city centre via the popular Stillorgan Road QBC. Its introduction was a huge success, the Stillorgan QBC offering a significant time saving over the traffic congested Merrion Road corridor. It was also the case that the 45 duplicated much the Dart Line, the 145 now introduced a host of new connections including the large UCD Campus.
Route 45's patronage reduced significantly over the next few years, and with the economic downturn in the late 00s, the company looked at reducing a number of underperforming services. This lead to a round of significant cutbacks in 2009. From 10th May 2009 Oldcourt was the only terminus, with Route 45 operating from Oldcourt to RDS only (the terminus being outside the Berkeley Court Hotel on the Shelbourne Road). This allowed for all duties to start and finish in Donnybrook depot, however the route proved unpopular. On 5th July 2009 Route 45 was extended further into the city with a new terminus at Merrion Square. The Esplanade was also brought back with one morning service via Esplanade reinstated.
Donnybrook's Wedding Bus, AX545, is seen on the Clonkeen Road at Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt operating Route 45 on the 15th October 2011.
Donnybrook's AV261 is seen operating Route 45 on the Bray Main Street on the 23rd April 2012.
The 45 was withdrawn on Saturday 26th May 2012. The 45A was rerouted in Bray to serve Wolfe Tone Square and Oldcourt. From Bray Main Street Route 45A now serves the Vevay, Wolfe Tone Square and the Boghall Road before rejoining its former routing and terminating as before at the Ballywaltrim Cemetary. The timetable remains the same, thus the services via Shanganagh Cliffs are retained, which is somewhat of a shock.
Route 84 links Bray and Shankhill with Blackrock, and at busy school times, all the way to St. Vincent's Hospital. The 84 follows Route 45 from The Vevay all the way Blackrock terminating on Temple Road at a formerly unused stop. The timetable also stays the same, however in order the boost frequency along the corridor, a new Route 84A increases the frequency to every 30mins operating between Blackrock and Bray Rail Station. The 84 and 84A are operated out of Bray Depot, as opposed to the 45 which was operated directly from Donnybrook. This limits the number of opportunities for VT class services to end up on the busy school runs. For this reason I was surprised that the 45 was not retained as a morning univeral to cater for this busy time.
Donnybrook's VT26 is seen at the Oldcourt terminus of Route 45 on the 23rd April 2012. The VT class morning operation of at least one of the 45's departures was almost guaranteed, unusual for a route that was at other times not busy, being now one of the many victims of Network Direct.