Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that it will be pressing ahead with plans to introduce two brand new express bus routes to the Superloop network, following a public consultation and the publication of reports into the consultations.
The two new faster bus services – the SL1 and SL10 – will connect Harrow and North Finchley, and North Finchley and Walthamstow and will be the next Superloop routes to be added to the network, with plans to start services on the two routes later this year.
The feedback from the SL10 consultation showed that 73 per cent of respondents said they would be likely to use this service to replace a journey made by private car.
Earlier this year, the Mayor announced plans for the Superloop, a transformative network of express bus services to enhance public transport provision in outer London and maximise the benefits of the London-wide ULEZ expansion, which came into effect on 29 August. The first Superloop bus was launched in July and there are currently four Superloop services in operation, with the Mayor confirming that the loop will be complete by spring 2024, subject to consultation. This excludes route SL4, which will start when the Silvertown tunnel opens in 2025.
The SL1 will run alongside part of the existing route 221 between North Finchley and New Southgate, and part of route 34 between Arnos Grove and Walthamstow. SL1 will run every 12 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes during evenings and Sundays. The route will allow customers using the new SL1 service to connect with nearly 50 bus routes across north and northeast London, offering quicker journeys and more transport options for people moving between transport hubs and town centre locations in Finchley, New Southgate and Walthamstow, as well as serving sections of the North Circular Road (A406). There will be connections to rail services at New Southgate, Arnos Grove, Silver Street and Walthamstow Central.
Feedback from the SL1 consultation was positive, with 79 per cent of people who responded saying that a new express bus service between North Finchley and Walthamstow would make their journey more convenient. 76 per cent said they thought the proposals would make their journey quicker and 71 per cent said they would be likely to use the express bus service to replace a journey made by private car. Following feedback received in the public consultation, the SL1 will now be stopping in Chingford, providing improved connections for more Londoners.
The SL10 will offer Londoners additional bus connections to busy areas and neighbourhoods in north and northwest London. The SL10 will run alongside part of the existing route 183 between Harrow and Hendon, and part of route 125 between Hendon and North Finchley. This service will run every 12 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes during evenings and Sundays. The route will allow customers using the new SL10 service to connect to nearly 40 other bus routes in the area, as well as rail services at Harrow-on-the-Hill, Kenton, Northwick Park, Kingsbury, Hendon (Thameslink), Hendon Central, and Finchley Central.
Routes SL1 and SL10 will connect at North Finchley with same stop interchange in both directions. Interchange will also be available between routes SL9 and SL10 at Harrow Bus Station, allowing for simple transfers across the multiple routes that make up Superloop.
The feedback from the SL10 consultation showed that more than 80 per cent of people said that the new express bus service between Harrow and North Finchley would make their journey more convenient. 83 per cent of respondents also said that they thought the express route would make their journey quicker, and 73 per cent said they would be likely to use this service to replace a journey made by private car.
The Mayor of London and TfL are committed to enhancing the bus network, with more than 95 per cent of Londoners living within 400 metres of a bus stop. In addition to plans for the Superloop, TfL continues to pursue enhancements to the bus network in partnership with London’s boroughs and has consulted on adding more than 500,000 bus kilometres this year. Thanks to the Mayor’s Hopper Fare, customers can take unlimited journeys within an hour for just £1.75. This not only saves money on multi-route journeys, but incentivises Londoners to travel more sustainably.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Londoners can already ride on Superloop buses and I can’t wait for these two brand new routes to join them, providing quicker links between transport hubs, town centres, schools and hospitals in outer London.
“It’s great to see large numbers of Londoners saying these new routes could replace private car journeys, offering even more sustainable transport options and helping to build a better, fairer and greener London for all.”
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s Director of Public Transport Service Planning, said: “These two new services will be a significant addition to the bus network, providing additional bus services in busy transport hubs and locations across the north London area, as well as offering more travel options connecting to numerous other bus routes. As well as a new look and feel of the buses, the new SL1 and SL10 express bus services will provide cleaner, cost-effective, sustainable options for those making journeys in outer London. We’ll be working closely with operators and other partners to introduce these new routes as quickly as possible, to improve public transport options and maximise the benefits of the recent expansion of ULEZ.”
Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of London TravelWatch, said: “We’re encouraged to see that Superloop bus routes 1 and 10 will be introduced by TfL towards the end of this year. These orbital express bus services are much-needed, especially now that ULEZ has expanded to outer London boroughs such as Harrow, Barnet and Waltham Forest.
“It’s really important that these Superloop buses have priority on the roads right from the start to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams. After all, passengers will expect to be able to get to where they want to be quickly – whether that’s work, a healthcare appointment, school or a shopping centre.