Photo of the Week - Week 5:
Harristown's former RV631 is seen on a very rare outing on peak hour Route 142 in Rathmines on the 30th August 2012.
So its been a good few weeks now since RV560 made its farewell on Route 16, so it seems like an opportune moment to bring up an RV shot from their last few months in service. And RV631 operating Route 142 is a rarity. Route 142 began operation on Tuesday the 22nd May 2007. Normally when a route begins on a Tuesday, it might have been a bank holiday weekend, however in this case the 21st was a normal working day. However what made the 22nd May so important, was that just 2 days later there was a General Election, and a certain well known local politition may have had something to do with bringing in the service with great haste before the important day. It should be noted that this was the bad old days, with licenses from the Department of Transport hard come by, so strings must have been yanked as opposed to pulled to get this in so quickly. The route began at Portmarnock, starting at Wendell Avenue, and followed the 42 to Malahide, then through Seabury and onto Holywell, before joining the motorway and into the Port Tunnel. It then used the East Wall Road, joining the North Strand Road, Georges Quay, St. Stephen's Green and onto Rathmines, terminating at Palmerstown Park.
AX552 is seen operating Route 142 on Suffolk Street on a very bright summers day, the 5th July 2011.
What made the 142 introduction even more bizzare was that the roads it had intended to use were not complete; in fact there were never completed as was the downturn in the Irish economy. The roads I speak of were in Holywell Estate which was meant to have a relief road around the estate linking Kinsealy with Airside Retail Park. Instead with the roll out of the service, the buses instead travelled through the narrow roads of the estate, and in particular, heading inbound, were required to make a right turn at a roundabout. This roundabout was so small that the buses couldn't make the turn, so instead two staff members were hired to stop traffic on the roundabout to enable the buses to go the wrong way round. This continued for a few weeks, definately till after the election in any case, until the 142 was rerouted inbound via the Swords Road and Swords By-Pass, into Airside Retail Park rejoining its former route through the Port Tunnel into the city and on to terminate at Palmerston Park. The outbound routing was unaffected and continued through Holywell. Nowadays the troubling roundabout has been removed and buses now travel bi-directionally through the estate, an estate which provides a significant proportion of the customer base, and unlike when the service started, there are a few stops for them to use. Also changed is the inbound and outbound routings. Originally the North Strand and East Wall Road was the route of choice, however nowadays its outbound along Custom House Quay and North Wall Quay to the Port Tunnel, whereas inbound it continues out of the Port Tunnel down the East Wall Road, turning right before the O2 onto Sherrif Street, before serving Seville Place, Amiens Street, Talbot Street, Gardiner Street, Sean MacDermott Street, O'Connell Street, rejoining its former route at D'olier Street operating to Palmerston Park (which operates as per the current Route 140).
AX506 is seen climbing The Hill in Malahide heading towards Portmarnock on a late evening departure on Route 142 on the 22nd April 2011.