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Fury at plans to alter iconic 46A bus route

DUBLIN'S most famous bus route is set for change in spite of objections from some of its users.

The plan to alter the route taken by the 46A, which was immortalised in the song Summer In Dublin, is being opposed by hundreds of residents in the Dun Laoghaire area.

After almost 60 years of unbroken service the bus will no longer travel through the Monkstown Farm area.

The move is part of an overhaul of services by Dublin Bus who are trying to improve their efficiency.

Opposition

But more than 150 residents, many of them elderly, attended a meeting earlier this week where a high level of opposition was expressed.

A march against the move is now being proposed for next Saturday afternoon.

Fine Gael Councillor Mary Mitchell O'Connor told the Herald: "Bagatelle might have sung about jumping on a bus to Dun Laoghaire, but nobody from Monkstown Farm will be able to do so regularly from now on thanks to this disgraceful decision."

However, Dublin Bus told the Herald that it is reacting to findings that "existing and potential customers wanted faster and more direct routes to the key destination areas with a higher frequency".

"They also wanted less complexity in the network of services. In response to this, Dublin Bus undertook to redesign all its services, including route 46A," said a spokesperson.

The residents are also upset about plans to change the route of the 746 bus which will have reduced services on Oliver Plunkett Road, Monkstown Avenue, Abbey Road and Rockford.

But it is the iconic 46A that has caught the imagination of most Dubliners.

It was 30 years this summer since Liam Reilly sang about escaping to "the wind and the birds and the sea and rocks" by jumping on the bus to Dun Laoghaire.

However, his "hummin' was smothered by a 46A and the scream of a low-flying jet". It was also on this bus that a drunk told him how to get rich.

Closures

Ms Mitchell-O'Connor described the rerouting of the buses as "another hammer blow" for struggling businesses in Dun Laoghaire which has already seen around 66 shop closures since the beginning of the recession.

"This decision might make economic sense to Dublin Bus, but by taking more customers out of Dun Laoghaire it is bound to have a major impact on local business and jobs," she said.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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