Superloop: Sadiq Khan accused of ‘forgetting’ about east London areas with new bus service

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The mayor announced the new Superloop bus service to improve connections in outer London.

Sadiq Khan has been accused of “forgetting” about parts of east London with his new £6m Superloop bus service, as it will bypass two outer London areas due to be impacted by the ULEZ expansion this August.

The mayor’s new bus network is intended to deliver faster services to outer London boroughs, in part to improve alternatives to cars ahead of the ULEZ expansion on August 29.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Announcing the Superloop on March 28, Mr Khan said: “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.

“Today I am delivering on that commitment as we announce the Superloop, the 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.

“These new routes will make it much easier for Londoners to get around the capital, and help build a better, greener London for everyone.”

Route map of the new “Superloop” bus network. Credit: TfLRoute map of the new “Superloop” bus network. Credit: TfL
Route map of the new “Superloop” bus network. Credit: TfL | Credit: TfL

However, the Superloop is not due to stretch further east than Ilford, meaning it will not cover either Barking and Dagenham or Havering, Mr Khan has been accused of “once again” forgetting about certain boroughs with his latest announcement.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Keith Prince, a Havering councillor and the Conservative London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge, said: “Sadiq Khan has once again forgotten about Havering, with his so-called Superloop bypassing our residents entirely while Upminster Park has its bus services slashed in half.

“His bus plan is nothing more than a lick of paint for existing buses and a vague promise of a few more routes in a few years’ time.

“If Sadiq Khan is intent on forcing his £12.50 ULEZ tax on our residents, he needs to go back to the drawing board and deliver accessible public transport for outer London.”

Sadiq Khan announced the new Superloop bus service, which will improve outer London travel options.Sadiq Khan announced the new Superloop bus service, which will improve outer London travel options.
Sadiq Khan announced the new Superloop bus service, which will improve outer London travel options. | Isabel Infantes/Getty Images/TfL

Caroline Pigeon, a London-wide Lib Dem Assembly Member, also queried the scope of the mayor’s Superloop.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In an interview with the BBC, she said: “There’s little substance actually in the detail beyond the logo on the new buses. Some of the loop won’t actually exist until next year at the earliest and some of its existing buses [are] just being rebranded.

“We need a massive boost to buses in outer London to really help people have alternatives to using their car, particularly when the ULEZ is expanding in August.”

Responding to the omission of any Barking and Dagenham or Havering stops, a spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The Superloop is a fantastic new network of 10 routes circling outer London which will provide quicker and more direct services to outer London town centres and stations.

“Havering and Barking and Dagenham residents will be able to travel by bus and connect with the services on the Superloop, using the Hopper Fare. Data from the X140 route, from Heathrow to Harrow, shows that over 40% of users have interchanged from another bus - demonstrating the benefits of the Hopper Fare and the desire to travel by express services.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Residents in Barking and Dagenham have also benefited from greatly improved transport links through the extension of the London Overground to Barking Riverside and will see quicker bus journey times as more TfL-funded bus lanes are constructed.”

The mayor’s spokesperson said TfL is working to add more than one million extra kilometres to outer London’s bus network, and earlier this month launched proposals on routes in Barnet, Havering, Brent and Wandsworth.

“This will play an important role in maximising the benefits of expanding the ULEZ and strengthen alternatives to private cars,” they said.

Nick Rogers, the City Hall Conservatives transport spokesman, described the Superloop as a “Superflop”, and that it amounts to “nothing more than a repackaging of existing routes and vague promises that will not be delivered before his ULEZ expansion hits Londoners”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This is a microscopic level of investment. The mayor’s rushed plans have been thrown together in a panic, and do nothing to address the devastating impact of his ULEZ tax,” Mr Rogers said.

The leader of Havering Council, Cllr Ray Morgon, said: “The concept of the new Superloop express bus service is a good one, but sadly Havering, and our neighbouring borough, Barking and Dagenham, have been looped out.

“There seems to have been a lot of time spent on the branding, but not on talking to outer London boroughs like us. We have been calling for better infrastructure and public transport for some time, but once again this plea seems to have been ignored.

“We will be responding to the consultation to ask them to go back to the drawing board and perhaps speak to outer London boroughs first before publishing such plans.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.