It was the end of an era today (21st April 2012) as the long-established 53A bus service ran for the final time in Dublin’s docklands, bringing to a close a once frequent service which had dwindled in recent years to just a handful of isolated journeys. However daytime service in the North Wall area is set to improve, with the introduction of an all day projection of sister route 53 into the area, rather than a handful of extended trips operated at present.
Under the new regime route 53 will run through Alexandra Road in North Wall hourly from 7am to 7pm, and for the first time will be projected eastwards to provide a link to the Irish Ferries Terminal, which until now has only been serviced by premium-priced special buses (numbered 53B) timed to connect to ferry arrivals and departures.
Overall the 53 is losing half its daytime frequency and its evening service, but gaining the extension to the Ferry Terminal and will now have a standard hourly clockface timetable whereas before departures were timed at different random intervals.
Route 53A, which ran via North Wall Quay (rather than via the East Wall 53 route) ran for the last time with the 1305 departure from Alexandra Road, and a number of transport enthusiasts and local residents were there to commemorate the passing of this little piece of local history.
Volvo B7TL / ALX400 AV37 operated the final journey, and is pictured above.
Below, from an earlier era, we see KC138, one of the Irish built GAC single-deckers used on the route from 1984 to the turn of the century.