Commuters in Harrow experienced a major upgrade in their public transport options as the well-known route X140 underwent a transformation, being renumbered and rebranded as the SL9.
The launch, which took place last Saturday, August 26, marked a significant step in the expansion of the Superloop express bus network, enhancing connectivity in the borough.
The revamped SL9 route maintains its crucial connection between Harrow and Heathrow Central, serving the same places and stops as the familiar X140. This seamless transition ensures that passengers will continue to enjoy easy access to their preferred destinations. The initiative is part of Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor’s strategic plan to improve public transport in the outer regions of the city.
One of the most notable features of the SL9 service is its alignment with the eco-friendly movement. The rebranded route has gone green by becoming a fully zero-emission route, contributing to London’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Additionally, the buses now come equipped with USB charging points, catering to the tech-savvy needs of modern travellers.
Aiming for enhanced clarity and navigability, several bus stop names along the SL9 route have been updated to better reflect their respective locations. An example of this is the renaming of “Willow Tree Lane” to “Yeading Lane / Willow Tree Lane.” This alteration is designed to facilitate a more intuitive and user-friendly experience for passengers.
The SL9 launch is a significant milestone in the ambitious Superloop project, a network of express bus services aimed at bolstering the overall public transportation system in London’s outer areas. The introduction of the SL9 marks the fourth route to be integrated into the Superloop system. The eventual goal is to create a full loop of the Superloop network by spring 2024, with the proviso of a successful consultation process. The Mayor also indicated that the SL4 route’s commencement would align with the opening of the Silvertown tunnel in 2025.
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance said: “It’s great to see more Superloop buses on the streets of London, and I’m excited for the SL9 to join them from Saturday. The Superloop is delivering more frequent and longer running bus services, with the express services circling the city, providing quicker links between transport hubs, town centres, schools and hospitals and offering Londoners even stronger alternatives to private car use, helping us to build a better, greener London for everyone.”
Louise Cheeseman, Director of Buses at TfL said: “The newly renumbered and branded SL9 will ensure people in outer London have an instantly recognisable express bus route, helping to make it easier to choose a sustainable way to travel. Buses are the most accessible, available and affordable form of public transport connecting outer London’s network to town centres, hospitals, schools and transport hubs. We’ll continue to work on our further plans for the Superloop to make it even easier for people travel around outer London.”
Nigel Wood, Chief Operating Officer at RAPT, said: “We are delighted to be a key part of TfL’s Superloop express bus network, bringing sustainable transport solutions to local residents and visitors to London.”
Public engagement remains a critical aspect of the Superloop project’s success. TfL has kept the lines of communication open with local Londoners, inviting them to participate in ongoing consultations for routes SL2, SL3, and SL5. The agency encourages residents to voice their opinions on how the Superloop network can best serve their needs. Responses to these consultations can be submitted online at www.haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk.