The National Transport Authority (NTA) has strongly hinted that the 33X could be spared the axe.

Plans to scrap the express service from Skerries and Balbriggan directly to the city centre as part of a radical BusConnects overhaul caused uproar.

The route also serves Lusk and Rush and thousands of submissions – including almost 2,000 collected by Rush Community Council – were lodged calling for its retention.

The NTA has now conceded two route changes in its revision of the controversial plan; the No 1 from Santry to Sandymount and the 33X.

BusConnects spokesperson Grainne Mackin said both routes were identified “that we will have to go back and look at” ahead of publishing a revised network design in January 2019.

She added: “This is a proposal we have put out for consultation. It wasn’t a de facto plan or finished network.”

Under the proposal in its current format, all 33 bus routes, including the one serving Donabate and Portrane, will end in Swords where commuters will have to board another bus to the city.

The network will also see a less frequent service from Swords and the 42 from Malahide will no longer serve Seabury estate.

In Dublin 15, outlying areas will be left with no direct service and concerns have been raised over Blanchardstown SC becoming a transport hub.

Deputy Darragh O’Brien (FF), who hosted several public meetings on the issue, urged the NTA to take on board the views of the 20,000 commuters who made submissions.