Barnet residents invited to have say on new ‘Superloop’ bus route

The new express bus service would boost connection times between Hendon and Finchley but also see an existing local service scaled back, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A Superloop-branded bus (credit TfL)
A Superloop-branded bus (credit TfL)

More details of the ‘Superloop’ bus route set to run through Barnet have been announced – including cuts to an existing local service.

The limited-stop X183 express service would run between Harrow and North Finchley, forming one part of a new circular network linking outer London town centres, hospitals, schools and transport hubs.

In Barnet borough it would stop at West Hendon (for Hendon Magistrates’ Court), Hendon Station, Hendon Central Station, Hendon The Quadrant (for Middlesex University), Finchley Central Station and North Finchley Bus Station.

But the Transport for London (TfL) proposals, which are currently being consulted on, would also see a reduction in the existing 183 service between Pinner and Golders Green, drawing a mixed reaction from local Conservative politicians.

If the changes go ahead, the frequency of the 183 service will drop from seven-and-a-half minutes to ten minutes during daytimes from Monday to Saturday, and from eight minutes to twelve minutes on evenings and Sundays.

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer said: “Anything that makes travelling around North London rather than in and out is welcome, and it is nice to see investment in transport in the suburbs, especially from a Zone 1-centric mayor.”

In contrast, the Conservative group on Barnet Council branded the service a “Superflop”, adding that it would not be enough “to make up for the disaster that is the Ulez [Ultra-Low Emission Zone] expansion”.

The group added: “This is, unfortunately, another attempt by the mayor and TfL to create screens and mirrors to distract from the fact that no-one wants Ulez, it has a negligible impact on air quality and is a means of funding to fill in the black hole in TfL’s budget.”

In a joint statement, Golders Green councillors Peter Zinkin and Dean Cohen added: “Any change to a local bus route which reduces frequency disadvantages the local community and will discourage bus journeys. Is this part of a longer-term plan to make the 183 non-viable so it can be cancelled?

“We would vigorously oppose any such move.”

The planned 'Superloop' express bus route through Barnet (credit TfL)
The ‘Superloop’ bus route through Barnet (credit TfL)

TfL says the Superloop could add over four million extra kilometres to London’s bus network, providing an alternative to getting around by car.

It comes on top of the mayor of London’s pledge to add more than a million kilometres to outer London’s bus network, which was announced in tandem with the London-wide expansion of Ulez.

The X183 would run every twelve minutes Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes on evenings and Sundays. According to TfL, it would result in quicker journey times and provide extra capacity on the busiest part of the existing route 183 between Hendon and Harrow.

Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport service planning, said the proposals would bring “a considerable increase in the frequency of services along the planned 183 and X183 corridor”, adding: “At bus stops where both the 183 and the X183 are planned to stop there would be a bus every six minutes, rather than every eight minutes as there is now.”

He continued: “To ensure we continue to match local bus service demand with bus capacity, the introduction of the X183 would require us to plan for a small reduction in frequency on route 183. The reduced frequency on route 183 would continue to provide enough capacity at all times for our customers.

“The proposals would improve travel options for people in the area and we encourage people to take part in our consultation to ensure we have the right stops in place for the planned new route.”

Geoff added that with around 4,000 Londoners a year dying prematurely because of toxic air, the Superloop would maximise the benefits of expanding Ulez, which he described as “vital in tackling the triple threats of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion”.

Barnet’s Labour group was also approached for comment.

To take part in the public consultation on the proposed X183 route:

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else. £84 annual supporters get a print copy by post and a digital copy of each month's before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly 

More Information about donations