Completed Superloop loop links London suburbs

The ‘main circle’ of the new express bus service for the capital is now up and running, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

The Superloop first arrived in Barnet last December

Sadiq Khan has hailed the completion of the main circle of his Superloop network of express bus services.

The loop’s final three routes were all launched in the last few weeks, meaning that the network now forms a 138km circle through London’s suburbs.

The latest routes to join the network are SL2, linking Walthamstow and North Woolwich; SL3, linking Thamesmead and Bromley North; and SL5, linking Bromley North with Croydon town centre. The SL1 linking North Finchley and Walthamstow, via Arnos Grove, Palmers Green and Edmonton, launched in December.

Still to be launched is the SL4 route, which does not form part of the main loop but will instead connect Canary Wharf with Grove Park, once the Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames has opened in 2025.

Khan said: “The Superloop is a game-changing new network of express buses that have added more than six million additional bus kilometres to the capital’s bus network, linking stations, town centres, hospitals and transport hubs.

“I’m so excited about the benefits these new services will bring by providing Londoners with stronger alternatives to private car use, and helping us to build a better, greener London for everyone.

“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’m proud to say I’m delivering on this commitment.”

When the Superloop was first announced by the Labour mayor 12 months ago, backed by £6m of City Hall funding, it was attacked by his Tory critics as “nothing more than a repackaging of existing routes and vague promises” and “a microscopic level of investment”.

The network will comprise four rebranded routes and six new ones. All services run every twelve minutes Monday to Saturday day times and every 15 minutes during all other day service times.

According to Transport for London (TfL), the Superloop now connects people using it with 310 other bus routes, 49 rail stations and 23 different rail lines, while early ridership figures show that almost half of all Superloop journeys involve an interchange with another mode of public transport. TfL said this shows the important role the network is already playing in better connecting outer London.

But the Superloop has also been criticised for not reaching some parts of outer London, with the borough of Havering left entirely unserved by the network. The London Assembly’s cross-party transport committee told the mayor in January that he must look at expanding the network to ensure wider coverage.

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