Superloop or ‘Superflop’? Khan unveils £6m bus network connecting outer London ahead of ULEZ expansion
Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans for a new “Superloop” orbital bus network linking services around outer London.
Express bus routes on the network will have limited stops, faster journey times and connect outer London, City Hall says.
The mayor of London is funding £6m towards the scheme, but TfL says it will cost much more.
Cash is coming from a combination of existing budgets and passenger income.
But opponents on the City Hall Conservative group blasted Khan’s “microscopic” level of investment. They said the mayor should have backed their cross-party £100m bus plans.
Khan told CityAM: “Only the biggest curmudgeon could be against the Superloop which is a game changer for those in outer London.
“This is a package of express buses, more than 4m km [per year], connecting families faster from Harrow to Heathrow, Croydon to Bromley, Ilford to Royal Docks.”
A source close to the mayor said: “It’s no surprise to see criticism of Sadiq’s new express bus routes in outer London from the Tory party who tried to force huge bus cuts on London through the TfL deal.”
City Hall and TfL say 40 per cent of the routes are already up and running.
Consultations will be held on increasing their frequency, including the X140 from Harrow to Heathrow and the X26 from Harrow to West Croydon. This route is set to double in frequency this year.
While new routes required to complete the network will be open to passengers by next year. The first to be consulted on is from Harrow to North Finchley.
Proposed future Superloop sections include links from North Finchley and Walthamstow; Walthamstow to the Royal Docks via Ilford; and Bexleyheath, Bromley and Croydon.
A new rainbow Roundel and logo has been created to blend with the iconic Tfl branding.
Khan said the Superloop was one of his “key commitments” to improve outer London transport when he made the “tough decision” on ULEZ.
Superloop or ‘superflop’?
Business bosses welcomed the move, including Shobi Khan, Canary Wharf Group chief executive and John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Airport CEO, who said bus routes were “vital”.
Nick Rogers, City Hall Tories transport spokesman, said: “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 £100m plan we proposed.”
Deputy mayor Seb Dance said: “It would be great if we had support for greater investment from government.
“The mayor is using City Hall resources to invest in the network but it would be better if we got adequate funding in the first place – but what we are able to do with the funds we have is still significant.”