The National Transport Authority will this morning announce a new operator for 10 per cent of Dublin Bus routes.

It's understood that Luas operator Transdev, a number of British companies and Dublin Bus itself have applied for the franchise.

The 23 routes in question all serve suburbs in the greater Dublin area and do not go into the city centre. They include the 185 (Bray – Newtownmountkennedy), the 75 (Dún Laoghaire – Tallaght) and the 220 (Ballymun to Mulhuddart).

Some fear the move may lead to privatisation of some services, however, the NTA have denied this saying that the authority would still own the bus fleet and revenue, but would pay an external operator to run the routes.

Whoever wins the franchise will have to maintain existing bus services and no Dublin Bus employees will face redundancy.

The affected routes:

17 Rialto to Blackrock

17a Blanchardstown Centre to Kilbarrack

18 Palmerstown(Old Lucan Road)to Sandymount

33a Swords to Balbriggan

33b Swords to Portrane

45a Dún Laoghaire (Rail Station)to Ballywaltrim

59 Dún Laoghaire to Mackintosh Park

63 Dún Laoghaire to Kilternan

75 The Square Tallaght to Dún Laoghaire

76 Chapelizod to Tallaght (The Square)

76a Blanchardstown Centre to Tallaght (The Square)

102 Sutton station to Dublin Airport

04 Clontarf Road (Conquer Hill) to Santry (Shanard Road)

111 Loughlinstown Park to Dún Laoghaire

114 Ticknock to Blackrock Station

161 Dundrum Luas Station to Rockbrook

184 Bray Rail station to Newtownmountkennedy

185 Bray Railstation to Shop River (Enniskerry)

220 Ballymun (Shangan Road) to Lady's Well Road

236 Blanchardstown Centre to Damastown

238 Tyrrelstown to Lady's Well Road

239 Blanchardstown Centre to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

270 Blanchardstown Centre to Dunboyne