Superloop plan by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to create outer London orbital bus network

280323 SUPERLOOP TWITTER 900 (c) TfL
Superloop Roundel logo Credit: TfL

Transport bosses have unveiled plans to create an outer London orbital bus network called Superloop.

The express buses will see four existing X Routes rebranded along with six additional new services.

The announcement comes five months before mayor Sadiq Khan’s controversial proposal to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone to outer London.

Mr Khan said he was delivering on a commitment to improve transport links but City Hall Tories dismissed the bus plan as "superflop".

The Mayor of London 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."

Map of the proposed Superloop Credit: TfL

But Nick Rogers, City Hall Conservatives transport spokesperson said: "Sadiq Khan’s Superloop announcement is a superflop, amounting to nothing more than a repackaging of existing routes and vague promises that will not be delivered before his ULEZ expansion hits Londoners.

"This is a microscopic level of investment compared to the cross-party £100 million plan we proposed last month, which was blocked by Labour. The Mayor’s rushed plans have been thrown together in a panic, and do nothing to address the devastating impact of his ULEZ tax.

"Sadiq Khan should think again, adopt our cross-party bus plan, and listen to the overwhelming majority of Londoners who want him to scrap his ULEZ expansion.';

Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and Transport Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM added:

"As someone who has been proposing orbital routes in London for the best part of 15 years in the Assembly, I’m broadly supportive of today’s announcement.

"However, we need to see the details and a key test of whether or not this will be a beneficial policy is if these are genuinely additional bus routes, or a rebranding of old routes.

"As I highlighted to the Mayor last week, there have been significant cuts to London’s bus services under his administration with persistent attempts to cover this up by rebranding slightly altered existing routes as ‘new services’.

"Londoners need some honesty about these proposals and whether they are new bus services covering new parts of the capital."

London bus with Superloop branding Credit: TfL

The Superloop will comprise 10 routes in total.

Four of these are existing:

  • X26 runs from Croydon to Heathrow Airport This service is already running, and will become part of the new Superloop of routes circling outer London boroughs, and later this year will see increased frequency

In addition, as this service connects with Heathrow Airport, this route runs for 20 hours a day, starting at 04:15 from Croydon and last service getting into Croydon at 01:40. Currently this service runs roughly every 30 minutes.

  • X140 runs from Heathrow Airport to Harrow This service is already running and will become part of the Superloop of routes.

This service currently runs from Heathrow at 05:55 and runs every 12 minutes in the peak (07:00 – 20:00).

  • 607 runs from Uxbridge to White City This service is already running and will be branded as part of the Superloop

This service currently runs from Uxbridge at 05:30 and runs every 8 – 12 minutes in the peak (07:00 – 19:00)

  • X68 runs from Russell Square to Croydon This service is currently running from Russell Square to Croydon. This will be branded as part of the Superloop.

This service currently runs from Russell Square to Croydon in the morning peak (Mon – Fri). The first bus is at 05:50 and the final bus is 08:30

Six of the routes are new, although one has already been consulted on:

  • Canary Wharf – Grove Park.This service was consulted upon as part of the Silvertown opening bus network (as X239). The consultation closed in January 2023. It will be operational by 2025, when the tunnel opens.

The other five routes will all be consulted on separately between now and spring 2024.

  • North Finchley – Walthamstow Travelling North Finchley – Arnos Grove - Edmonton

  • Walthamstow – Royal DocksWalthamstow – Ilford – Royal Docks

  • Bexleyheath – Bromley Bexleyheath – Sidcup – Queen Mary’s Hospital (Sidcup) – Bromley

  • Bromley – Croydon Bromley – Croydon

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