Superloop this Saturday to greatly speed up journeys to Elizabeth line

As you may have heard a brand new bus route is set to hit the streets of south east London tomorrow as SL3 begins between Thamesmead and Bromley.

The route will bring the New Routemaster bus (which isn’t very new anymore) to areas such as Thamesmead, Abbey Wood and Bexleyheath for the first time in routine service.

And when it does, the limited stop nature of the route will greatly speed up point to point journeys from man busy areas.

Southeastern Metro train beside Elizabeth line at Abbey Wood.

Firstly, Thamesmead to Abbey Wood. From the most remote part of Thamesmead away from rail in the north to Abbey Wood station for Elizabeth line, Thameslink and Southeastern services will take just six minutes.

From central Thamesmead to Abbey Wood station will be four minutes. Do well with a connection at Abbey Wood and someone in Thamesmead can be in central London in around 20 minutes. Canary Wharf in 15.

Route will head over the elevated roundabout in Thamesmead

There’s a lot of cobblers written and said about how cut off Thamesmead is. Seemingly from people who’ve never been or at least didn’t look at a bus timetable since 1980 when Thamesmead admittedly did have very poor services.

That view now is extremely outdated. But still, an improvement is an improvement and the speed of the SL3 will be welcomed.

Low rise retail sheds and acres of car parking in Thamesmead six minutes from Elizabeth line station

The current town centre is mostly mass of 1980s and 1990s retail sheds and car parking. Some housing plans here wouldn’t go amiss given extensive bus routes including the SL3 to Abbey Wood will exist plus a proposed Bus Rapid Transit to Woolwich is on the way.

Linking the rail lines

Then comes Abbey Wood to Bexleyheath. That’s timetabled at 11 minutes for much of the day. Live in Thamesmead and work in Bexleyheath? Fifteen minutes or thereabouts on SL3.

Next up Sidcup. Bexleyheath to Sidcup will take 14 minutes give or take depending on where you board in Bexleyheath, where three stops will be served.

SL3 will pass serve Sidcup

Sidcup will be served by two stops; one at the station and one on the High Street.

Then Sidcup to Bromley via Chislehurst? Twenty minutes generally.

SL3 will run alongside existing routes in places such as the all-stopping 301

Now of course these are time throughout much of the day and also weekends. Peak times will be slower. There are certainly pinch points. Yet they’ll be many who will certainly benefit from the faster journeys SL3 will provide from tomorrow (Saturday 24th February).

Superloop fares are the same as normal bus routes at £1.75 including unlimited changes to other routes within the hour. Services will run every 12 minutes during the day and 15 minutes in evenings and Sundays.


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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    3 thoughts on “Superloop this Saturday to greatly speed up journeys to Elizabeth line

    • I hope the SL3 bus route will be a success as will improve travel time between Thamesmead, Abbey Wood Station (Elizabeth Line), Bexleyheath and Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.
      But let’s not be fooled these Superloop bus routes are not the answer for the current Mayor of London controversial ULEZ expansion which affects people on low incomes the most. As they cannot afford to buy new cars or pay the ULEZ charges.
      We need more investment in Public Transport including improving local bus routes, extending the DLR and more important reversing the cuts made to bus services across London since Sadiq Khan became Mayor of London in 2015.

      • Those on low incomes, like myself, don’t have a car. Stop lying about people on low incomes. We get buses. It’s much cheaper then buying a crap car and finding it needs thousand of pounds work for every MOT.
        If ulez makes my air cleaner, which it does, then why on earth would I be against it!

    • The superloop is good where the roads are good & buses get a move on but the SL7 is just a rebranded existing bus route where there is simply no improvement in journey time due to the quaint historic road layout which is very restricted in many areas.


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