Off The Beaten Track

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From Abbey to Manor...Routes 41 & 41C

Posted by csalem83 on July 6, 2015 at 1:40 PM

A journey undertaken on Dublin Bus route 41C on the 25th June 2015 and route 41 on the 2nd July 2015.

A bit of time travel involved with this update as it was done before the 111 but is going live after that one. But then the latter was a much smaller and easier route to cover. Continuing with the time travel theme, a few weeks ago I covered the 39 and 39A. The 39 was the route first converted to the revolutionary City Swift brand back in 1993. It introduced a new concept in bus travel to the people of Dublin that then began to spread to other routes such as the 13 and 46A already covered on this website. The 41 though was the final route to be converted to City Swift on the 14th June 1998 and was the death knell to the brand.

City Swift was predicated on the idea of buses running at high frequency along Quality Bus Corridors from the suburbs into the city. The 39 operated at 6 minute frequency all day. Not all of the routes were this good; the 13 operated approximately every ten minutes. The 41 had to be converted to City Swift along with the 41B and 41C to give decent frequency along the route but at certain times during the day that still meant a bus every fifteen minutes. The 41 on its own averaged a bus every twenty minutes (but it was not that regular in the timetable), while the 41C had a bus every forty minutes. The 41B had five departures all day and all of these routes were branded City Swift. The other issue along the Swords Corridor was the lack of QBC along most of the route. Bus lanes were added piecemeal but congestion was still an issue. One notable bottlekneck was at the "Cat and Cage" pub in Drumcondra and that is only being addressed now in 2015. The final issue with the 41 and 41C was that they only ran a combined routing from the south of Swords so parts of the town did not experience anything close to City Swift level of service.

So what are the routes? The 41 traces its origins back to the DUTC and started in 1926. Trams did not go beyong Whitehall so a bus route was introduced to serve the large town in north County Dublin (It is also now the main town in Fingal). When the airport opened near Cloghran the 41 became one of the bus routes to serve it. The 41C started in 1981 to serve the large housing area at the southern end of Swords called River Valley. When it started the 41C reached River Valley from Dublin via Dublin Road in Swords. Since the 1980s the two routes have evolved. For a while Glasmore on the north side of Swords was the terminus of the 41 before Swords Manor took over. Today the routings for the 41 and 41C is as follows:

Both start at Lower Abbey Street in Dublin and run north along Gardiner Street to Drumcondra and Santry. The 41 still serves Dublin Airport while the 41C by-passes it. Both routes meet up again at Cloghran and run together as far as Airside. From there the 41C diverts away to serve Boroimhe and River Valley. It then enters Swords at Dublin Road and serves Main Street. It continues along North Street before turning onto Balheary Road. It then serves the housing areas of Glen Ellen and Applewood before reaching St. Cronan's Avenue. The 41 runs from Airside along the R132 before entering Swords along Malahide Road. It too serves Main Strete before turning off to run along Balheary Road. It then joins the 41C on St. Cronan's Avenue. Both routes run along that road before joing Brackenstown Road and terminating at Swords Manor. This is also the terminus of the Swords Express.

Combined both routes provide a ten minute frequency from Swords Manor and then again just after Dublin Airport. The 41 is the more direct route to Swords (apart from the Airport diversion) while the 41C serves most of the housing areas around the town, and provides a more local service. However both routes have an uncertain future as the National Transport Authority is proposing Bus Rapit Transit system to Swords and this would no doubt take some business from the 41s. No doubt some sort of revision of these routes will take place but what form that will take is unknown at this time.

The 41 and 41C are among the key routes in the city. They are the most northerly routes operated by Dublin Bus, apart from the 33s. Swords is one of the largest suburban towns around the capital and as mentioned is the main town in Fingal. (Funny enough the second main area of Fingal is Blanchardstown, home to the 39). The routes are operated by Summerhill Garage and I travelled on AV 271 on the 41C and AV 424 on the 41. Considering the length of the routes and the frequencies, they have the highest allocation of buses from that garage. However a few years ago extra departures were added and they are operated from Harriistown Garage. Normally it provides extras in the peaks, but this is the only group of routes where it does so all day. To sum up, the 41 and 41C are two of the most interesting routes in Dublin Bus and should be experienced. 

For the page on routes 41 and 41C, click here

For an overview page of both routes, click here

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