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Shopping Toll...Routes 76 & 76A

Posted by csalem83 on October 12, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Journeys undertaken on Dublin Bus routes 76 and 76A on the 8th October 2015.


As we approach the end of the year and come towards the end of "live" updates for this website, I realised we had not visited Tallaght this year. As it is a prime bus area this was an oversight that could not stand. The question was what route should be covered? Having done two routes I had not done before in the previous update, I felt that theme should continue, but that results in most routes to Tallaght. One route in particular did catch my attention as it was a bit different, it revisited a number of areas previously covered, and it threw in a derivative for free. It was also a route I had come close to covering on previous occasions. So with everything agreed upon, at the end of September and the start of October I set out to cover route 76, and its occasional derivative, route 76A.


The current routes 76 and 76A started in April 2012 through the Network Direct changes in West Dublin. The current terminus in Tallaght is located at The Square Shopping Centre, and it is one it does not share with any other route. After leaving The Square the bus makes its way around Belgard Square, passing the road entrance to Tallaght Hospital, before joining Belgard Road. The route then heads north along the Belgard Road, crossing the Luas Red Line at Cookstown/Kingswood near the Belgard Luas stop. The route continues on along the Belgard Road as far as Newlands Cross. Up until November 2014 this was a major crossroads for the Belgard Road and the N7 Naas Road, and was well known for traffic delays. However in November 2014 the junction was replaced with a fly-over and the 76 now passes under the N7 as it joins Fonthill Road South. The 76 enters Clondalkin Village along New Road before performing a complicated manoeuvre around the centre of the village to reach Ninth Lock Road. Heading northbound the bus has to go: New Road - Main Street - Tower Road. Southbound it goes: Tower Road - Orchard Lane - Main Street - New Road. Travelling along Ninth Lock Road the 76 crosses New Nangor Road (and route 151), the Grand Canal and the Dublin - Cork railway line. It then turns onto Neilstown Road (picking up route 40) and travels the length of that to Coldcut Road, passing through Neilstown and Rowlagh. Travelling along the Coldcut Road it heads for Ballyfermot but halfway down it turns off and does a loop into the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre before rejoining the Coldcut Road and crossing the M50 motorway. The route enters Ballyfermot along the Ballyfermot Road and whereas the 79/A turned south on Kylemore Road, the 76/A turns north and travels to its northern end in Chapelizod, passing under the Chapelizod By-Pass. At Chapelizod there is a curious terminus situation as the bus heads along the Lucan Road, but at its western end the Lucan Road is one-way, for traffic entering Chapelizod. Therefore at the end of the village there is a turning circle where the outbound lane turns back into the inbound lane. This turning circle is mainly used by just the 76.

The 76A follows the same route as the 76 but as it approaches Chapelizod it turns off the Kylemore Road and onto the Chapelizod By-Pass. It continues down the road that becomes the N4 to Palmerstown, but at the junction with the M50 it turns off and joins the motorway. This junction is beside the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre so the 76A takes the long way to get from there to the junction. The route then heads north and crosses the River Liffey over the Westlink Bridge. On the northside of this was the infamous M50 toll booths which caused endless delayys, but are now gone and replaced by electronic tolling. After passing under the Castleknock Road ( and routes 37 and 38 ) the bus comes off the M50 at the Blanchardstown exit and passes through Blanchardstown Village. It then terminates at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. It is worth pinting out that the southbound 76A serves Chapelizod as it has to pass the 76 terminus to reach the Kylemore Road.


The 76 runs seven days a week on approximately a half-hour frequency. The 76A on the other hand only has three return workings in the peaks, Monday - Friday. It is not the only bus route that connects Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown, the 239 also fulfills that role, but takes a different routing and is slightly more frequent.


The 76 is one of the older orbital routes in Dublin, first starting in the early 1980s. Its first terminus was in Old Bawn in Tallaght but when The Square opened in October 1990 it was diverted to also serve this shopping centre which was the largest in Dublin. Now the four largest shopping centres in Dublin are Dundrum, Tallaght, Blanchardstown and Liffey Valley. As can be seen the 76 and 76A serve two/three of them which ring the western side of the city. The first 76A also started in 1990 with the opening of The Square connected it to Blanchardstown. In the mid-1990s another route was created in the form of the 76B which terminated on the Old Lucan Road. When Network Direct came along in 2012 the original plan saw the removal of the 76A but the three departures a day in both directions were retained.


The two routes are worth doing, as orbital routes are always a bit different. If only one route could be travelled on I would highly recommend the 76A. It covers all of the 76 but also has the added bonus of great views over the River Liffey from the Westlink bridge. It is a view unmatched. There is also the novelty of travelling on the M50 on a Dublin Bus route. Only other place this can be done is through the Dublin Port Tunnel and that is not quite the same as travelling over the Westlink.


Both routes are operated from Conyngham Road. On the day I travelled on AV 298 on route 76 and AV 406 on route 76A.


For my page on routes 76 and 76A, click here

For an overview of both routes, with historical photographs, click here 


Just one more update to go for 2015!

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