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Leaders can learn from London Superloop bus system masterplan

The UK capital is connecting outlying areas in the metropolitan region through a new integrated transport network. 

Three services are already running on the so-called London Superloop system. These are SL8 between White City and Uxbridge (previously route 607), SL7 (formerly X26) from Croydon to Heathrow Airport, and SL6 (previously X68), between West Croydon and Russell Square.

All routes have increased frequency, while some stops have been renamed for geographical clarity. In total, 10 routes have been proposed including those already operating. These include: 

SL1 – North Finchley to Walthamstow

SL2 – Walthamstow Central to North Woolwich 

SL3 – Thamesmead to Bromley 

SL4 – Canary Wharf to Grove Park 

SL5 – Bromley to Croydon 

SL6 Russell Square to West Croydon (peak times only)

SL7 – Croydon to Heathrow Airport 

SL8 – Uxbridge to White City 

SL9 – Heathrow Airport to Harrow 

SL10 – Harrow to North Finchley

According to the Mayor’s office, Superloop provision is a fundamental part of plans for improved transport across Greater London and efforts to reduce car journeys. In turn, this will reduce emissions, air pollution, and the city’s contributions to climate change. 

Improving connections across built up areas while avoiding directing journeys through the city centre itself is a challenge many authorities are beginning to grapple with, but due to the huge expense involved in developing many transport modes solutions are often piecemeal and limited.

With the proposed Superloop map, London may have set a blueprint for other regional leaders in the UK to follow. According to sources at City Hall, 90% of the population of Outer London will live within one interchange of the system once all routes are running. 

‘The Superloop is the jewel in the crown in our plans to strengthen alternatives to the private car ahead of the ULEZ expanding London-wide and is a game changer for outer London,’ said Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL. ‘For the first time we will be bringing a number of the capital’s town centres together with express orbital routes. We know these kinds of services are hugely popular from what we have seen in the rise in the number of people using the X140 during the week.’

‘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,’ added Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, who described Superloop as a ‘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.’

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Study suggests car clubs promote cycling in cities

International Airlines Group boosts UK waste-to-fuel research

Image: TfL

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