'Anger' at withdrawal of bus service from Monkstown Farm and Stradbrook

A protest against the withdrawal of bus services in South Dublin was held outside Dublin Bus head office in O'Connell Street this morning. Around twenty protestors carried placards and chanted slogans against the planned changes to the 46A route. Bus services across the city are being streamlined as part of a series of "efficiency reviews" by Dublin Bus. [Video below]


Richard Boyd Barrett, a councillor for Dun Laoighre-Rathdown, said that services are being removed from disadvantaged parts of the locality. He said the removal of the service will isolate many elderly people with mobility problems who use the service. He said that families with young children and workers who use the bus route will also be impacted.

"There is a lot of anger," Boyd-Barrett said. "People are determined to fight against it."

Interview with Richard Boyd-Barrett:{mp3 width="200"}richard-boyd-barret-dublin-bus{/mp3}

He said that behind the move is a privatisation agenda, and that eventually Dublin Bus will "sell" the route to private operators.

A larger protest against the cuts will be held in Dun Laoighre tomorrow, Saturday 18 September and again on Saturday 25 September.

Boyd Barrett said that there are no plans yet for an official bus strike. However, he alluded to the unofficial strike by bus workers protesting similar cuts at Harristown last year. He did not rule out similar action by bus workers who serve the 46A Route.

Dublin Bus issued a statement saying the redesign of route 46A follows research that found a desire among existing and potential customers for "a faster, more direct services with high frequencies serving key destinations".  Customers also want less complexity in the Dublin Bus network. The statement continued: 

Route 46a will now be more direct and faster as a result of this redesign and will offer new high frequency connections between Dún Laoghaire and the Phoenix Park via Stillorgan, the Luas Green and Red Line, the City Centre, the Mater Hospital and Phibsboro. It will operate for over 18 hours each day, with a bus every 10 minutes or less from early morning until 21.00hrs. This faster and more direct 46a service will improve journey times by at least 15 minutes for customers.

Dublin Bus is aware of the needs of the community in Monkstown Farm and Abbey Road , and has replaced the local element of route 46a with the introduction of a strong local service on a redesigned route 63. Route 63 will operate from Dún Laoghaire to Kilternan every 30 minutes serving Abbey Road , Monkstown Farm, Monkstown Avenue , Oliver Plunkett Road and Mounttown Road Lower. It will also provide a link to the N11, Cornelscourt Shopping Centre, Carrickmines Shopping Centre and the Luas at Carrickmines. Dublin Bus will monitor this new service very closely in the initial stages and will adjust the frequency in line with demand.

Dublin Bus realises that there is also a demand from the western side of Monkstown Farm to travel to the city centre, and therefore the proposed extension of route 4 to Monkstown Avenue (Blue Pool) will ensure that this link remains.

Route 4 will operate every 15 minutes on weekdays and will provide new linkages to Blackrock, St. Vincent's Hospital and Ballsbridge using the most direct and fastest route to the City Centre. It will then continue onwards to DCU and IKEA.

The proposed changes in this area will ensure that customers will retain strong services, and will have significant improvements to their bus services by having faster, more direct services that serve more areas and provide new linkages. The overwhelming majority of customers in these areas will benefit greatly as a result of Network Direct changes.

As part of the Network Direct project, all Dublin Bus timetables will be redesigned so that they will be easier to understand, have departures at consistent times past each hour and will have listed departure times from specific areas on the certain routes.

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