Off The Beaten Track

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History of routes 19, 19A, 55, 155 and 9

By "Donnybrook Observer"

The 19 and 19a traditionally linked Glasnevin in North Dublin with Rialto in the south inner city since the 1960s. They had a common terminus in Glasnevin, followed separate routings in the Glasnevin area, but then shared a common route through Phibsboro, Western Way, O’Connell Street, South Great Georges Street, Camden Street and the South Circular Road to terminate in Rialto.

 

The terminus was on Grove Road, (buses looped via Grove Park Road, Grove Road and Sycamore Road), but retained the title “Cedarwood Road” in timetables despite being 100m away from the previous terminus at that location and no longer serving it.

Route 19 operated from the terminus at Grove Road via Beneavin Road, Ballygall Road East, Glasanaon Road, Griffith Parade, Tolka Estate (taking a different northbound and southbound route due to the narrow roads), Old Finglas Road, Glasnevin Hill and Botanic Road before continuing to Rialto as outlined above.

 

Meanwhile the 19a took a more direct route, turning onto Glasnevin Avenue off Grove Road, and then operated via Ballymun Road and St Mobhi Road before joining the 19 at Botanic Road.

 

In 1986 the first noticeable change in the service occurred with a significant number of services on both routes curtailed to operate from Glasnevin to Kelly’s Corner only, particularly on Saturdays. This curtailment was further changed in December 1987 to be operate between Glasnevin and Westmoreland Street.

 

In 1988 major changes took place in Dublin with the widespread introduction of One Person Operated (OPO) buses, and Dublin Bus took the opportunity to alter some routes at the same time. The first change to routes 19 and 19a took place on 16 October 1988, when certain departures were extended at the northern end to serve McKee Road (to replace the now withdrawn route 35), and the southern terminus was moved from Rialto to Bulfin Road (to replace the now curtailed 20b).

 

In September 1990, another route change was made, with all services on the 19a extended to McKee Road, while the all services on the 19 were curtailed to the Grove Road terminus.

 

May 1991 saw a drastic reduction in the number of 19 and 19a buses operating south of Westmoreland Street.

 

In June 1995 the routes were changed again as a result of customer demand. The 19 remained Cedarwood Road to Bulfin Road, with no curtailments to Westmoreland Street, while the 19a became McKee Road to Kelly’s Corner, curtailed to Westmoreland Street on Sundays only. The 19a southbound was re-routed off Ballymun Avenue to serve Beneavin Road and Beneavin Drive at this time as well.

 

Meanwhile, route 55 had operated by the late 1960s from the City Centre via South Great George’s Street, South Circular Road, Clanbrassil Street, Harold’s Cross, Lower Kimmage Road, before turning right onto Captain’s Road, Cashel Road, Armagh Road, Crumlin Village, St Agnes Road, and then operating via Cromwellsfort Road and terminating at Walkinstown Cross, on St Peter’s Road.

 

In the early 1970s it was extended via St Peter’s Road and St James’s Road to terminate in the new housing estate at St Brendan’s Crescent.

 

In January 1986 the route was further extended to the new purpose built terminus at Limekiln Farm (described as Limekiln Road in the timetables).

 

In 1994, the route was converted to higher frequency City Imp operation, and renumbered route 155. The route was removed from the estate in Kimmage and re-routed along Kimmage Road West to Cromwellsfort Road.

 

On 22 April 2001, the 19a and 155 were merged, with the 19a extended southwards, following the old 155 route from Kelly’s Corner to the terminus at Limekiln Avenue, reinstating double-deck operation on that section of the route. At the same time the northern terminus for both the 19 and 19a was moved to a purpose built bay on Jamestown Road.

 

This remained the routing for both routes for the next 10 years until the routes were reconfigured under the Network Direct programme on 27th August 2011. As of that date, the 19 was withdrawn completely, being replaced on the northside in part by a revised route 83 which now served Grove Road, Grove Park Road, and Sycamore Road, and on the south side by a re-routed route 68 and new route 68a.

 

The 19a meanwhile was renumbered route 9 and extended from its terminus at Jamestown Road to a new terminus at Charlestown, and now served Beneavin Road in both directions.