Sadiq Khan reveals maps for new 'Superloop' London orbital bus network
Sadiq Khan is accused of ‘covering up’ bus route cuts as he reveals maps for new ‘Superloop’ orbital network
- ‘Superloop’ is formed of ten express buses – four existing routes and six new
- But ten other London routes will be either axed or amended from tomorrow
Sadiq Khan was today accused of ‘covering up’ cuts to London buses as he revealed maps for his new ‘Superloop’ orbital bus network connecting the suburbs, one day before ten other routes are either axed or amended.
The Mayor’s ‘Superloop’ will be formed of ten express buses around the capital – including four existing routes and six new routes – and is part of a £6million public transport investment as the hated Ultra-Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expands in August.
A consultation is now open on the new ‘X183’ from Harrow to North Finchley, while Transport for London is also planning five other new routes from North Finchley to Walthamstow (X34); Walthamstow to Royal Docks (X123); Bexleyheath to Bromley (X269); Canary Wharf to Grove Park (X239); and Bromley to West Croydon (X119).
The existing four are the 607 from White City to Uxbridge, X26 from Croydon to Heathrow, X140 from Harrow to Heathrow and X68 from Croydon to Russell Square.
But the Conservatives today again branded the Superloop plans a ‘Superflop’ amid criticism that it is simply a ‘repackaging of existing routes and vague promises’.
It comes as three current routes run for the last time today – 332 from Brent Park to Paddington; 507 from Victoria to Waterloo; and 521 from Waterloo to London Bridge.
The London Mayor’s new ‘Superloop’ network will be formed of a series of express buses around the outskirts of the capital – including four existing routes and a range of new routes
A consultation is now open on the new ‘X183’ Superloop bus from Harrow to North Finchley
One of the six new Superloop bus routes will be from North Finchley to Walthamstow (X34)
The X123 Superloop bus will run from Walthamstow to the Royal Docks in East London
The X239 will run from Grove Park to Canary Wharf via the new Silvertown Tunnel from 2025
The X269 Superloop will run from Bexleyheath to Bromley via Sidcup in South East London
The X119 Superloop from Bromley to West Croydon will be one of the six new express buses
Seven others will be rerouted from tomorrow – 3 from Crystal Palace to Westminster (rerouted to Victoria); 6 from Willesden Green to Aldwych (rerouted to Victoria); 11 from Fulham to Liverpool Street (rerouted to Waterloo); 23 from Westbourne Park to Hammersmith (rerouted to Aldwych); 26 from Hackney to Waterloo (rerouted to Victoria); 59 from Streatham Hill to Euston (rerouted to St Bartholomew’s Hospital); and 133 from Streatham Hill to Liverpool Street (rerouted to Holborn).
How the ‘Superloop’ will work and what routes it will cover
EXISTING ROUTES (4)
The ‘Superloop’ network will include these four existing express routes:
- 607: Bus running from White City to Uxbridge in West London, mostly along Uxbridge Road. This covers a similar route to the 207 – which is the eighth-busiest route in London – but skips many stops for a faster journey.
- X26: Route from West Croydon to Heathrow Central. The frequency of the service will be doubled to 15 minutes. There will also be changes to bus lanes and traffic signals.
- X140: Bus from Harrow to Heathrow Central. TfL’s newest express route is said to have resulted in a weekly demand increase of 15 per cent.
- X68: Route from West Croydon to Russell Square, which currently only runs weekday peak hour services.
NEW ROUTES (6)
There are also a series of new routes proposed to link up the ‘Superloop’:
- X183 from Harrow to North Finchley via Northwick Park and Hendon, for which the consultation is now open.
- X34 from North Finchley to Walthamstow via Edmonton
- X123 from Walthamstow to Royal Docks via Ilford
- X269 from Bexleyheath to Bromley via Sidcup
- X119 from Bromley to Croydon
- X239 from Grove Park to Canary Wharf via the new Silvertown Tunnel (previously announced, expected to begin in 2025 when tunnel opens)
The most notable of these is the 11, which has been billed an ‘iconic’ route through the capital and will no longer link Fulham and Liverpool Street – instead diverted south over Westminster Bridge.
The 11 also happens to be among the five buses TfL has chosen to give a special royal ‘wrap’ for King Charles III’s Coronation next week.
Grey Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham, who wants the existing 11 route to be retained, told the Evening Standard: ‘Mayor Khan is taking incompetence to a new level: promoting the 11 bus route for the Coronation, forgetting that he is chopping it a week earlier.’
Today, TfL released new detailed maps of the Superloop, showing the proposed stops and how it will connect with the Underground, Overground, Docklands Light Railway and National Rail services.
But critics have said that few of the new services will be running by the time the Ulez is set to widen to the Greater London boundary on August 29.
Defending his scheme, Mr Khan said at the Superloop launch event at Northolt in West London last month that anyone who opposes the network is a ‘curmudgeon’.
London TravelWatch said the new buses must be in place before Ulez is expanded – which could see an extra 700,000 motorists have to pay the £12.50 charge.
The Ulez operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year except Christmas. Any motorcycles and cars must meet certain emissions standards to escape the charge.
Nick Rogers, the City Hall Conservatives transport spokesman, told MailOnline today: ‘Sadiq Khan’s Superloop 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.
‘The Mayor cannot use this to cover up for his cuts to many critical bus routes including in my constituency, his lack of investment in outer London public transport, and his disastrous Ulez expansion plans.’
The frequency of the X26 will be doubled to every 15 minutes later this year – while there will also be changes to bus lanes and traffic signals to try to speed up the route.
The 607, X140 and X68 will stay the same but will be rebranded with ‘Superloop’ in front of the bus number.
Sadiq Khan tweeted this photo of a new ‘Superloop’-branded bus in Northolt, West London
London Assembly chair Onkar Sahota (front, far left) and Sadiq Khan (front, centre) sit on a Superloop bus last month as the network is launched at an event in Northolt, West London
The ‘Superloop’ express buses will have a new roundel to help passengers identify them
While the bus between Harrow and North Finchley is expected to be the first one launched, new routes in the eastern section are set to take longer to arrive.
Which London buses will be axed or changed from tomorrow?
- 332 from Brent Park to Paddington
- 507 from Victoria to Waterloo
- 521 from Waterloo to London Bridge
- 3 from Crystal Palace to Westminster (rerouted to Victoria)
- 6 from Willesden Green to Aldwych (rerouted to Victoria)
- 11 from Fulham to Liverpool Street (rerouted to Waterloo)
- 23 from Westbourne Park to Hammersmith (rerouted to Aldwych)
- 26 from Hackney to Waterloo (rerouted to Victoria)
- 59 from Streatham Hill to Euston (rerouted to St Bartholomew’s Hospital)
- 133 from Streatham Hill to Liverpool Street (rerouted to Holborn)
The move forms part of a pledge by Mr Khan to provide a further one million kilometres (620,000 miles) of extra bus services per year.
But he has also faced questions over this promise after it was claimed that would only add less than 1 per cent to the total mileage of the 700 routes in London.
The Superloop buses will also have a new roundel to help passengers identify them, and this branding will also be seen on timetables and maps.
TfL said its newest express route, the X140 from Harrow to Heathrow, resulted in a weekly demand increase of up to 15 per cent with customer satisfaction also increasing.
Fares for the new routes will be £1.75 for any journey – the same as on any other bus in London. The ‘Hopper’ fare which allows passengers to use as many buses as they want within one hour for £1.75 will also remain in place.
That fare went up from £1.65 earlier this month in a 5.9 per cent rise that was the biggest increase for more than a decade.
Earlier this month it emerged that Mr Khan will be forced to defend the controversial expansion of Ulez in court following a legal challenge from council chiefs.
Five councils who launched the legal battle – Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, Hillingdon and Surrey – have been given permission to proceed with their case for judicial review.
Mr Khan said: ‘The Superloop is part of my plans to improve public transport in outer London. These new routes will substantially improve access to transport services, town centres and hospitals in outer London, and help build a better, greener London for everyone.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) currently covers the area inside the North and South Circular roads, but the Mayor intends to expand it across all of Greater London on August 29
Protesters demonstrate against the expansion of Ulez on Whitehall in London on March 18
‘I’m so excited to be kicking off the Superloop journey with our new detailed maps. Londoners can see for themselves where the buses will be stopping and how the Superloop could benefit them.
READ MORE — How Sadiq’s road closures will shut down London over King Charles’ Coronation
‘I’m also pleased to be launching the first Superloop consultation today with the new X183 route from Harrow to North Finchley. I encourage everyone in the local area to get involved and have their say.’
The first consultation was launched today on the new X183 between Harrow and Finchley, but all the proposed new routes will undergo further planning and consultation.
Proposals for the X183 route mean it would run alongside part of the existing 183 between Harrow and Hendon, and part of route 125 between Hendon and North Finchley.
The X183 would run every 12 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes during evenings and Sundays. TfL said it would also allow customers using the new X183 service to connect to 38 other bus routes in the area, as well as seven rail lines.
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of Public Transport Service Planning, said: ‘Public transport provides a vital service for everyone living in, working in and visiting the capital and buses play a fundamental role in that.
‘Our proposals for an upgraded link between Harrow and North Finchley to better connect town centres and rail stations in northwest London.
‘The new X183 route would provide a higher frequency of service for everyone travelling in the area, forming a key part of our game-changing Superloop proposals to make it even easier to travel in outer London.
‘I would encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation to help shape our plans and design a service which benefits everyone travelling in the area.’
And a TfL press release quoted Norman Baker from the Campaign for Better Transport saying: ‘The Superloop is an exciting development for Outer London.
‘It will bring faster, more frequent journeys to the places people most need to go, real integration with stations and other transport, cleaner air and a greener future for all. We encourage people to read and respond to the X183 consultation to ensure their views are heard.’
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