Residents vent fury at Dublin Bus route closures
PROTESTERS yesterday called on Dublin Bus to halt the "scrapping" of routes across the city.
They gathered at the offices of the National Transport Authority yesterday to object to the termination of the No 19 cross-city route.
More than 11,000 residents and commuters have signed a petition to halt the changes made to the 19 route. Dublin Bus is also axing the 48A route, which links Ballinteer to the city centre.
The move is part of changes affecting routes 14, 14A, 15B, 48A and 161 from Sunday.
A detailed submission, highlighting the negative effects of the route 19 proposal on local communities has been signed by 13 TDs and 24 local councillors.
The No 19 route runs from Jamestown Road in Finglas through the city centre to Bulfin Road in Inchicore, serving Glasnevin, Phibsboro, the city centre, the South Circular Road and Dolphin's Barn.
Peadar Tunney, who lives at Hillcrest Park in Glasnevin, said he had been using the 19 route for 76 years.
"I am over 80 years old and have used this bus since I was 4. I remember the 19 when it was a tram and can't believe that this route, which is an essential part of our community, is just going to be scrapped.
"This is discrimination against the many elderly residents and children of this area and it is a disgrace."
The route change proposed for the No 19 bus is part of Network Direct, a city-wide project reviewing routes across the city, announced in April 2010.
Dublin Bus said the project's aim was to deliver a better service. A company spokesman said route 19 was not being withdrawn or scrapped.
"The route number 19 will no longer be used but the general areas that it currently serves on both the northside and southside of the city will continue to be served -- albeit by different bus numbers," he said.
"Therefore the allegation that people will no longer be able to attend hospitals, medical appointments, colleges, schools, work places and businesses is inaccurate."
The company has not yet decided on a date for the proposed changes. But it said overall passenger numbers using the 19 were very low, with an average of four users at off-peak times and eight at peak times.