TfL launches further two new Superloop routes as new data shows huge success of initial ones

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) are launching two brand new express bus services in outer London as latest ridership figures show demand on all Superloop routes has increased above the network average level, according to new data. The SL10 route between Harrow and North Finchley is now in operation, and a further route, the SL1 between North Finchley and Walthamstow Central, launches on Saturday 9 December.  

The Superloop is a network of express routes in outer London connecting town centres, hospitals, schools and transport hubs and is a key part of the Mayor’s commitment to improving the bus network in outer London to maximise the benefits of the London-wide ULEZ expansion.

The SL1 connecting North Finchley and Walthamstow Central will give people more transport options to move between key locations such as transport hubs and town centres in Barnet, Enfield and Waltham Forest, as well as providing extra bus capacity on the busiest parts of the route.

The SL10 is an electric express route from North Finchley to Harrow also fitted with USBs, which recently launched on Saturday 25 November. The SL10 runs alongside part of the 183 route between Harrow and Hendon, the busiest part of this route, and part of the 125 route between Hendon and North Finchley, which is expected to see more customers in the future due to the Brent Cross and Colindale developments.

New TfL data shows that customers are already taking advantage of the Superloop network. The data so far shows demand on all Superloop routes has increased above the network average level.  

  • The average weekly demand on route SL7 in October has seen a 62 per cent change relative to June (before the SL7 was rebranded) 
  • The hours of operation on SL8 were increased at launch and the average weekly demand on SL8 in October has seen a 15 per cent change relative to June (before the route was rebranded) 
  • Although SL6 and SL9 had unchanged service levels, there was a 16 per cent change for October relative to June, and 3 per cent for SL9 for the same months 
  • Frequency on route SL7 (Heathrow Central and West Croydon) has doubled from two buses per hour to four buses per hour when it launched in August, leading to an increase in passenger usage 

The full loop of the Superloop will be complete by Spring 2024, as the SL2, SL3 and SL5 enter service. The SL4 which runs from Canary Wharf to Grove Park will open in 2025. Plans for the proposed SL5 route from Bromley to Croydon have today been confirmed following consultation.

More than 95 per cent of Londoners now live within 400 metres of a bus stop. In addition to the Superloop, TfL continues to pursue enhancements to the bus network in partnership with London’s boroughs. The Mayor’s Hopper Fare means customers can take unlimited journeys within an hour for just £1.75, meaning customers can save money on multi-route journeys, and encouraging Londoners to travel more sustainably.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is fantastic to see the Superloop already encouraging more people onto London’s bus network. It’s proving a real game-changer. Now people travelling in outer London are getting another boost before Christmas with two brand new routes coming into service, making it easier to see friends and family, or to visit local town centres or services. I’m delighted to see so many Londoners benefitting from the Superloop so far, and there’s much more to come.”

Louise Cheeseman, TfL’s Director of Buses, said: “It is great to see that customers are benefiting from the Superloop. The express bus network was made with customers in mind, giving them quicker and more sustainable options when it comes to public transport in outer London. We are pleased to see that the Superloop services that are already part of the network are a firm favourite for those who need to get around the capital, and to be able to offer Londoners even more new instantly recognisable routes.

“The launch of the SL1 means the majority of the Superloop network will be in operation before the end of this year, connecting key outer London town centres and transport hubs in the north west and the south west, making transport even easier for people. We are always working to improve our bus network and we will continue our work to bring the rest of the Superloop routes into service as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Barnet Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change, said: “Superloop orbital services are great for connecting people within Barnet and beyond, so it’s good to hear the Mayor announce even more routes at greater frequencies. The SL10 and new SL1 electric buses will mean faster, affordable, and sustainable travel between Enfield and Waltham Forest in the east to North Finchley and then Hendon and Harrow in the West. The routes will also serve new developments at Brent Cross and Colindale making travel across Barnet on public transport easier for even more people.”

Tim Leech, Head of Surface Access Strategy and Sponsorship at Heathrow Airport, said: “It’s really positive to see such high levels of demand for the Superloop service between Heathrow Central and West Croydon. Bus routes are important for thousands of passengers and colleagues travelling to Heathrow, and we look forward to continuing to work with TfL to deliver quicker and more sustainable travel options for our customers.”

*The demand data is made up of Oyster and Contactless Payment Card usage on Superloop routes and does not show the net impact on buses as some passengers will have switched from other bus routes to use the Superloop routes nor considers any seasonal effects that impact ridership along the new Superloop routes. “

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