Today, the Mayor announced plans for a network of limited-stop express bus routes that circle the entire capital – connecting outer London town centres, railway stations, hospitals and transport hubs, more quickly.

The Superloop would provide quicker journey times, with the Mayor of London providing £6m funding as an initial catalyst to improvements to outer London orbital bus services. The proposed new routes could add over four million kilometres on to London’s bus network – in addition to the extra one million kilometres already announced by the Mayor.

How the proposed Superloop could work

The Superloop is proposed to be introduced in stages. Some routes that would become part of the new orbital network are already in operation, providing quick links across outer London. This includes the X140 connecting Heathrow and Harrow, and a more frequent route X26 connecting Heathrow and West Croydon. The next new part of the outer London bus network would be a proposed route linking Harrow with North Finchley, subject to consultation. We are working with the relevant boroughs on initial proposals for this next section and will consult on the route in the coming months.

Following that, views will be sought on future sections of the orbital network. These proposed future sections include a limited stop express link between North Finchley and Walthamstow and between Walthamstow to the Royal Docks via Ilford. Links are also proposed between Bexleyheath, Bromley and Croydon. The attached map shows our initial thinking of the locations that would be served.

The Superloop brand is designed to work with the iconic London Buses brand by using a new Roundel and bus livery to ensure the new service can be clearly identified, while still being recognisable as part of the London Buses network. The new branding will also feature on maps, timetables and other pieces of customer information.

How limited-stop express bus routes would operate under the proposed Superloop

The Superloop would be designed to provide quicker journey times while still serving key hubs and interchanges with rail and local bus services. For example, while route X140 only serves 13 stops in each direction, these offer interchange with 42 other bus routes and seven different rail lines. The Mayor’s Hopper fare would allow people who started their journeys within 60 minutes to transfer onto local bus services free of charge to complete their journeys where required. Data from route X140 shows that over 40 per cent of users of the route have interchanged from another bus – showing the benefits of the Hopper Fare and the desire to travel by limited-stop express services. Surveys found that customers had increased satisfaction with their journey times and nearly four in five said they would use route X140 more often.


A short video showing the Superloop concept and initial route map is available here.