Electric buses coming to Superloop route SL3 between Thamesmead and Bromley

Superloop bus route SL3 running between Thamesmead and Bromley is to see electric buses running from 2025 after a new contract was awarded to existing operator Stagecoach.

To get the route up and running this year a short-term contract was awarded to Stagecoach using New Routemasters cascaded from another area of London.

Superloop at Abbey Wood

They will last around a year on the route before replacement early 2025. The new contract for SL3 will run for seven years.

This particular Superloop route hasn’t launched at the best time with hiccups seen since February due to major roadworks forcing long detours between Bexleyheath and Bromley. Last week roadworks hampered the stretch between Abbey Wood and Bexleyheath.

Future Superloop growth

However its potential is obvious, with the route linking many stations including to and from the Elizabeth line at Abbey Wood.

One issue that will be interesting to see is how it links to a new Bus Rapid Transit plan from Thamesmead to Woolwich. A recent TfL meeting revealed £23 million in funding from central government has a 2026 deadline.

Half an express bus now operates – though not BRT. The other half due soon

Will the BRT be branded Superloop and be a unique SL route or become part of an extended SL3 using that money for certain priority measures? Route SL2 does begin in North Woolwich so there’s a gap in the loop from Woolwich to north Thamesmead.

Perhaps neither though and it’ll be its own self-contained system with no Superloop branding whatsoever?

As for SL3, new housing will increase custom as well as faster routes for existing passengers. It may even cause a reasonable amount of modal shift if reliable and fast enough once the roadworks settled down.

Thamesmead is a sea of parking and low-rise shops but now five minutes from Elizabeth line

Housing development as a result of Superloop

However, it remains to be seen whether Peabody will begin to draw up plans and consult on homes in north Thamesmead to benefit from both SL3 running limited stop to Abbey Wood Elizabeth line and the future Bus Rapid Transit to Woolwich.

Masses of retail sheds and car parking dominate north Thamesmead and the area is now just five minutes from the Elizabeth line via an express bus. And once the £23 million BRT to Woolwich begins, those options only improve.

Bus Rapid Transit will link north Thamesmead to Woolwich station in five minutes when built

Waiting for a DLR extension that may never happen – and even if it does is likely 10+ years away – will not assist with London’s chronic housing shortage.

It’s certainly possible to begin planning and building the first few thousands homes before higher capacity transport arrives to facilitate the eventual 10k+ plus proposed.




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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 “Electric buses coming to Superloop route SL3 between Thamesmead and Bromley

  • Sounds great but the reality is the launch is over and now a mix if buses. Some sound like tanks ..very noisy. 3 buses all going to bexleyheath…301 tfl only change at Pickardy. Nite welling was excluded. Why didnt it deup wickham lane if the station was to far of route. Outside of school peak time many are empty and evening night time as are many buses. If seems to me a total lack of business aumen . As fir building houses…do you mean houses or will if be tower blocks so close together in shade with no parking or play areas…concrete jungles. Where are the schools drs dentists to support this..or will be another addition to what is already at breaking point. So much was ‘promise’ when Thamesmead was being built..as with all promises it disappeared like a puff of smoke. Interest you talk about garages etc I assume you don’t have or use one??? We see already the impact of lack of parking and residents having to pay to park. Buses are good but don’t work for everyone’s particular needs of circumstances.. eg child at nursery, child different place school then to work by a set time etc. I did this did
    this many years and could never have done on buses especially in a limited time frame. Then add shopping etc. Such situations which are real abd won’t be going away despite what Khan thinks..be the operative word.

  • This is excellent news.. But have to agree at the moment a lot of the SL3 buses are being lightly used and running half empty along the section of the route between Abbey Wood and Bromley. I wonder if adding a few more stops along the SL3 route between Thamesmead and Bromley would help increase passenger usage on the route.

  • Now would be the time to introduce the new proposed bus route North Thamesmead to Woolwich extended to North Woolwich or Gallions Reach via Woolwich Charlton Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown Tunnel to link with Suoerloop route SL2.
    I think it should a very high frequency stopping service operating about every 6 to 8 minutes peak hours and Monday to Saturday day tines and every 10 to 12 minutes late evenings and Sundays Public Holidays etc or at least have some more stops than the current superloop bus routes to serve as many residents as possible who rely on bus services to get around London.


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