TfL proposes Superloop bus network

28 Mar 2023 by Hannah Brandler
Superloop (image provided by TfL)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed a new express bus network, known as the Superloop, aimed at enhancing the connections between outer London boroughs.

Pitched as a sustainable alternative to cars for journeys that can’t be easily walked or cycled, the Superloop aims to add over four million extra kilometres to the bus network in outer London.

The network will comprise of express limited-stop routes and include brand new and existing bus routes. This includes plans to double the frequency of existing route X26, which connects Heathrow and West Croydon, so that buses run every 15 minutes.

TfL states:

“The Superloop would be designed to provide quicker journey times with routes stopping less frequently, while serving key places such as town centres, hospitals, schools and transport interchanges.”

TfL has released a map and video regarding the Superloop and states that it intends to serve the “broad locations” identified in these assets, though these are subject to consultation with boroughs and the public.

The first part of the proposed Superloop would be a new route linking Harrow with North Finchley. TfL will work with the relevant boroughs on this proposal and carry out a public consultation to get feedback on the proposed route.

Potential routes to follow include:

  • North Finchley and Walthamstow
  • Walthamstow and the Royal Docks
  • Route X239 connecting Canary Wharf and Grove Park
  • Bromley and Bexleyheath
  • Croydon and Bromley

The new routes would link with TfL’s existing limited stop routes that already connect key interchanges in outer London. These existing routes include:

  • Route X26 – West Croydon to Heathrow airport
  • Route X140 – Heathrow Airport to Harrow
  • Route 607 – Uxbridge to White City
  • Route X68 – Russell Square to West Croydon

The network will be funded by the Mayor and City Hall as part of the extra £6 million provided for improvements to outer London bus services.

This comes after the news last November that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded London-wide in August 2023, with more than a million kilometres set to be added to outer London’s bus network.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“When I made the tough decision to expand the ULEZ London-wide, one of my key commitments to Londoners was to improve transport links in outer London. Today I am delivering on that commitment as we announce the Superloop, the game-changing new network of express buses that will add over four million additional kilometres to our bus network in outer London, linking stations, town centres, hospitals and transport hubs. These new routes will make it much easier for Londoners to get around the capital, and help build a better, greener London for everyone.”

John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport, also commented:

“Bus routes are vital for thousands of colleagues and passengers travelling to Heathrow. We welcome the announcement of a Superloop service that will provide quicker connections and we look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor to deliver vital connectivity in outer London.”

TfL added that the Superloop will complement other plans, including introducing a full peak timetable on the Elizabeth line in May 2023 and introducing new trains on the DLR and Piccadilly lines.

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