New Route 13:

Conyngham Road's AX608 is seen operating new Route 13 on Griffith Avenue on the 2nd October 2010. Strangely this is not the first time Conyngham Road buses were on this road.

This is part one of this feature, so come back tomorrow for a look at the former routes.

The 2nd October 2011 saw the next stage of Network Direct implemented with the merger of Routes 13/A, 51B/C into one 'Super' route from Harristown to Grange Castle. Buses run every 15mins daytime and 12 mins during the peaks. However like many of the current implementations the night time schedule is very sparse at only every 30mins.

Harristown's AV276 is seen well out of its previous operating territory on new Route 13 on Woodford Walk at Boomer's Pub on the 2nd October 2011.

The route can be summarised as follows:
From Harristown it operates as former Route 13A into College Green, not serving Ikea or Shangan, then it operates as the former 51C to Fonthill Road South, where instead of turning into Cherrywood Villas as per the old 51C, it continues onto the New Nangor Road taking a left there followed by a quick right into Bawnogue and then as per former route 51B to Grange Castle.

Conyngham Road's AX610 is seen operating Route 13 on Orchard Lane in Clondalkin Village on the 2nd October 2011.

It seems that with each implementation of Network Direct something goes full circle. This time its Conyngham Road's return to their rightful territory of Ballymun. The 36 was the Ballymun route for the just over 30years, the occassional 60 would also bring you into town, the 13 not arriving into Ballymun until the early 1980s. And for just under 30years, Conyngham Road operated the service, before sending it to Summerhill in 1994. Now Conyngham Road return, with the new jointly operated Route 13.

Harristown's VG29 is seen on Griffith Avenue operating new Route 13 on the 2nd October 2011.

Sillogue and Shangan are not served by the new 13. Suprisingly, or possibly not given the bus provision there, Ikea is also not served. Shangan now is served by the cross-city 220, what can only be described as an incredibly rediculous survivor, given its loadings since the introduction of the 17A to Blanchardstown Centre. But what has to take the biscuit is new Route 221, from Shangan to Sillogue, a distance of 1.6km. This has to be the shortest Dublin Bus service ever, though the GNR did operate a service from Eden Quay to Connolly Station, a distance of approximately 600 metres. For a round trip of 3.2km, with an amazing 11 stops served, the 221 gets 30mins. Thats an average speed of 6.4km/hr. A shocking example of wastage given how many other routes are crying out for extra running time and extra resources.

Conyngham Road's AX519 is seen on the Naas Road operating new Route 13 to Grange Castle on the 2nd October 2011.

Like all new cross city routes, it can be heralded due to the new connections that are created. However, like all the new Super routes it is apparent that the 13 was suffering quite badly from poor schedules. Gaps of up to one hour were observed at numerous times of the first day, which occured during supposed 20min frequency times. I support the reorganisation of the city's bus routes. Cutbacks are part of the present day reality. But I'm still unsure how such unreliable schedules, with vast amounts of light running, most of it on route with little time gained, actually results in lower losses. Surely this leads to higher losses, and significant passenger losses too. These things take a lot of time for people to forget about. Lower frequencies. with less buses, doing more work, at relaible intervals (with larger layovers), could be the formula.

In torrential conditions, Conyngham Road's AX519 is seen loading passengers at the old Woodford terminus of the 21A on new Route 13 on the 2nd October 2011.

Dublin Bus however can be commended on some aspects of the introduction, with many lessons learned from previous introductions. All buses noted on route had updated scrolls, notable Grange Castle has become one word, I'm guessing a typo. Timetables were updated and staff were friendly, advising people of the changes. RTPI is still an issue with buses going everywhere but Grange Castle, but its still a relatively new technology in Dublin, and I'm sure in future reviews this will be fixed.

Harristown's AV216 in new territory for the 13, on the former 13A (and going back furthe 36) routing through Drumcondra Village on the first day of Route 13's operation, the 2nd October 2011.

Former Routes 13A, 51B, 51C:

Route 13A began in the late 1970s as an extended Route 13 to Ballymun Roundabout. In 1980 it was extended into Popintree, with the 13 extended from its Wadelai Park terminus to Ballymun Roundabout. The 13 was extended to Popintree in late 83/early 84 and 13A was withdrawn. It returned in the early 1990s as shorts from Ballymun to Kildare Street of Route 13. This was to take account of the dwindling usage of Route 13 in the Ranelagh area.

Harristown's AV216 in new territory for the 13, on the former 13A (and going back furthe 36) routing through Drumcondra Village on the first day of Route 13's operation, the 2nd October 2011.

Originally Donnybrook operated, the 13s moved to Summerhill in 1994, around the same time as the 36s. In November 1997, the 36s and 13s were amalgamated, the 13/A relaunched as a CitySwift service with a 10min daytime frequency. The 13 was then withdrawn from Ranelagh, the 13B taking on the Palmerston Park service. Otherwise the 13 basically operated its prior routing between Popintree and the city, with the additions of a loop in and out of Sillogue in both directions and a new city terminus at Merrion Square. The 13A took on the mantle of the old 36 services in that instead of serving Glasnevin Hill it served Drumcondra and Griffith Avenue on route to Ballymun. It also covered the 36As loops of Coultry and Shangan, again being performed in both directions.

Harristown's AV183 is seen loading on Westmoreland Street on the second last Saturday of the route on the 24th September 2011.

The routes moved from Summerhill to Harristown in October 2004. An extension to the Ikea came in .... which saw the northern arm of Balbutcher Lane served for the first time since the 36B service graced that way. Ikea built a purpose built terminus for buses. However recently this has been removed, with the Ikea Building extending onto grounds formerly covered by the bus terminus. Passengers were then faced with uncovered waiting areas, next to brown site lands and halting sites, with no provision for access to these stops provided by Ikea. It seems logical that this is the reason why the 13 no longer serves Ikea. With the extension of the buildings the 13s operated the same route to Popintree, along the northern arm of Balbutcher Lane and onto Ballymun Road, taking a left onto the new St. Margaret's (Ikea Relief) Road, terminating across the road from the store. Then the bus continued onto the set of traffic lights it had formerly turned right into Ikea at, this time turning left, onto the old St. Margaret's Road, turning right onto Balbutcher Lane and back on their respective routes.

Harristown's AV336 is seen waiting its time on Route 13 at the former Ikea Terminus, actually in the Ikea premises, on the 25th October 2009. The photo may not be the best quality, it was taken with Rev 1.0 of DublinBusStuff's cameras. It also gives no indication of where the photo is taken, it could have been anywhere, however there was little time before DublinBusStuff was chased from this private property.

I have to admit that the 13A's routing around Shangan and Coultry has confused me for some time. The 13A assumed the former 36A routing around the area. This had originally only served Shangan for a number of years, however the route as I remember it in the mid-90s was Parnell Square West, Drumcondra, Griffith Avenue, Ballymun Road, right at the roundabout then left up Coultry Road terminating at the corner of Coultry Lawn. Then onto the return to city, buses left Coultry, then turned left and headed into Shangan, turning at Shangan Gardens, before heading back out to the roundabout and into City. The 13A did the same except Shangan and Coultry were served in both directions to Popintree. However with the removal of the roundabout in the early 2000s, the 13A instead continued onto a new right turn installed at the roundabout and again the Coultry and Shangan loops were served. However a few years later, the Coultry loop was redeveloped, a number of houses being built near the Santry Avenue side and the 13A no longer served the Coultry loop. The Shangan loop was also cut short, with a new purpose built turning circle (now the home of the 220 and 221) being installed. At this point the 13A only went into this, which was closer to the main Ballymun Road than the original Shangan turning arrangements had been. The routing in both directions (from town turning right off the Ballymun Road onto Shangan Road / or from city continuing straight across the Balcurris Road), continuing along Shangan Road to loop about, then back along Shangan Road turning right onto Coultry Road serving one stop before turning left onto a new one way link road onto Ballymun Road where it would either continue on straight to the city or turn right onto Balcurris Road.

Harristown's AV216 seen operating Route 13A making the right turn off Ballymun Road onto Balcurris Road having operated the Shangan Loop as described above on the 17th September 2010.

A subtle loss to the Dublin Bus Network has been the loss of the Glasnevin Hill end of the Ballymun Road (section between Griffith Avenue and Glasnevin Hill). The 13 has served this section of road since the late 1940s when it was extended to Wadelai Park. It was notable in being narrow, buses having to overtake a number of parked cars on either side. It was also popular with passengers, but then again most were just passengers wishing to travel further up Glasnevin Hill.

Harristown's AV340 is seen on the now unserved section of Ballymun Road heading towards the Met Eireann offices on Glasnevin Hill on the 13th August 2011.

The 51 services have a long history with the Clondalkin area, though the peak hour 51 services stay so its history can be left for another day. The 51B would have been first used in the ealry 1980s, however prior to this Bawnogue was served for a number of years by the 51 without the distinction of the 'B'. The 51C was also introduced in the 1980s, it serving St. John's Estate, though this route served the estate slightly differently. Buses left the Fonthill Road extension at the same point as the current 69, serving St. John's Road West, however whereas the 69 turns left onto St. John's Close, the 51C continued on the short distance to serve St. John's Green and then operated into St. John's Crescent, which is composed of a square of roads which the 51C used to turn around. Cherrywood Villas was at this point served by the 68 which turned left out of Clondalkin Village onto the old Nangor Road, Cherrywood Villas and onto Newcastle.

Conyngham Road's AV297, on the second last Saturday of operation of the 51C, is seen operating Route 51C through Cherrywood Villas on the 24th September 2011.

In 1994 the Clondalkin area got a review. The 51s remained unchanged, but gone were the 21A and 51C, amalgamated into a new 68/A service. The 68s, at this point still serving Thomas Street and James Street on route to Inchicore and Naas Road. They then served Monastery Road, Woodford, Watery Lane, Clondalkin Village, Convent Road, Boot Road, heading around to Green Isle Hotel, then right into the John's Estate serving it as the 69 does currently, then left from John's Estate onto Fonthill Road extension, left into Cherrywood Villas. The 68A terminated at Cherrywood Villas, as at this point the junction between the New Nangor Road, St. Cuthbert's Road and Cherrywood Villas was a roundabout that both the 68A and 51B used to turn about, whereas the 68 continued on to Newcastle.

RV612 is seen on a Broadstone operated Route 51B departure on the Nangor Road on the 1st March 2010. The junction of the New Nangor Road and St. Cuthbert's Road described above was located where the traffic lights in the rear of the photo now stand.

In 1997 the 68A itself was subsumed into a new CitySwift 51B service, serving Woodford, Cherrywood Villas and Bawnogue, originally terminating at Alpine Heights before being extended onto Dunawley when the terminus was built there. The 68 was routed away from Cherrywood Villas, instead it replaced the 51B along the Nangor Road section and also around New Road and Newlands Cross. Then in the summer of 2004, the 51B service was split into 2 equal frequency routes, the 51B and 51C. Both served the former routes until Clondalkin Village, the 51B continuing on up the Ninth Lock Bridge, turning left at Nangor Road, before serving the Bawnogue Loop before rejoining the Nangor Road. The 51C on the other hand took the former CitySwift 51B routing out of the village down Convent Road, right onto the Fonthill Road extension and then into Cherrywood Villas before rejoining the 51B on the Nangor Road. Both routes then went onto a new terminus in the then brand new Grange Castle Business Park, the current terminus of the new 13 route. Certain services on the route operated via IAWS, the holding company of Cuisine the France which had premises at the back of the Business Park, whereas now certain 13 services terminate there. (See here for details).

Conyngham Road's AX610 is seen on Bawnogue Road operating Route 51B on the 24th September 2011.

The last notable change to the 51B/C was the movement of terminus from Aston Quay to Hawkins Street along with Routes 68 and 69. Buses then served a more consistent Route into and out of the city, with Dame Street and Lord Edward Street being served in both directions as opposed to the South Quays/Bridge Street routing out of town and Lord Edward Street/Dame Street routing into town that came about with the CitySwift changes in 1997.

Conyngham Road's EV54 is seen on the second last Saturday of Route 51B serving College Green en route to Grange Castle on the 24th September 2011. Behind is a rare allocation of EV12 to Route 27. That said EV operation on the route has increased since the extension of the route to Jobstown.

The 51Cs withdrawal was pre-empted by a rerouting of Route 68 into Cherrywood Villas. With the withdrawal of Route 19 from Bulfin Road the 68 was rerouted down Camden Street and across the South Circular Road into Bulfin Road before rejoining its previous route in Inchicore. It then serves it previous routing down Monastery Road into Clondalkin Village, Ninth Lock Road, Nangor Road, however it turns left at the roundabout at Cherrywood Crescent to serve Cherrywood Villas before rejoining the Nangor Road and heading to Newcastle. On the return from the city it again serves Cherrywood Villas, turning right off Nangor Road at junction of St. Cuthbert's Road, however it continues further down the Old Nangor Road, turning left onto the Fonthill Road Extension before rejoining the Nangor Road and back towards the city.

Conyngham Road's AX525 is seen at the Grange Castle terminus of Route 51C on the 8th March 2011.

The 51s seem to have been image of the week more than most routes as I look back through the archives. Thus some of the photos here may seem familiar. However the 51B did through up some great opportunites, mainly due to the well known bus enthusiasts who have operated it. None more so was VT21s allocation, more photos of which can be seen here. This Broadstone operation was a regular occurance, the bus being regularly marked onto this duty up until the first rounds of Network Review in September 2010. What a strange allocation it was, however each day VG10 would be seen operating Route 51B too, though in the opposite direction. It always bugs me that I never got a photo of this bus in Clondalkin.

VT21, then operated from Broadstone, is seen operating Route 51B on the Grange Castle Road on the 10th September 2010.

However I do have one Wedding Bus photo on the 51B, the bus in question being Conyngham Road's own EV64. Its a good way to finish this article. How long it takes to get onto the 13 it remains to be seen, likewise with AV447 and AV448. These routes have thrown up a varied selection of buses over the years and I hope this may continue into the future.

Conyngham Road's EV64 is seen operating Route 51B on Dame Street on the 7th May 2011.

N.B. This website is not affiliated with Dublin Bus. The information contained herein is intended for enthusiast reference. For all current timetable and route information please refer to the official Dublin Bus Website.