Outer London transport

Tackling the triple threat

London is facing challenges in the form of congestion, air pollution and the climate emergency.

We're working to improve the already extensive public transport network in outer London - where most Londoners live - across our services. This includes expanding the bus network, introducing the full peak timetable on the Elizabeth line, upgrading our other rail services and investing in walking and cycling.

These improvements will help us maximise the benefits of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which now operates across all London boroughs.

Outer London bus improvements

We're working on an ambitious programme to grow the bus network in outer London and create faster connections, provide better coverage and more direct, frequent services.

Since 2016 we've launched the Superloop and introduced 19 new routes: 218, 278, 301, 304, 306, 378, 335, 439, 456, 483, 497 (now fully replaced by changes to route 346), 533, S2, SL1, SL2, SL3, SL5, SL10 and X140 (now Superloop route SL9).

We've also extended another 52 routes (36 in outer London) as well increasing frequencies on 74 outer London bus routes so the service better matches demand.

We've consulted on extensions of routes to key growth areas or town centres as well as more direct and frequent services:

Recent improvements to the bus network in Sutton and Croydon will add over more than 500,000 scheduled bus kilometres per year to the network The improvements will make it easier for people to travel affordably and sustainably, along with providing new local connections.

Further work continues on other expansion plans for outer London, including in Southall, Waltham Forest and Hillingdon.

New zero-emission cross-river services will also be introduced in east London, following our Silvertown Tunnel bus network proposals consultation.


Superloop is a network of 10 express bus routes which is already improving connections and journey times between key outer London town centres, transport hubs, hospitals and schools. The new routes add over 4 million scheduled km on to London's bus network.

The first 4 Superloop routes started running in summer 2023, when 4 existing express routes were renumbered and rebranded. Two of these routes, SL6 and SL7, also have enhanced timetables.

The Superloop routes are: 

  • SL1 - North Finchley to Walthamstow
  • SL2 - Walthamstow to North Woolwich
  • SL3 - Thamesmead to Bromley
  • SL4 - Canary Wharf to Grove Park
  • SL5 - Bromley to Croydon
  • SL6 - Russell Square to West Croydon (peak services only)
  • SL7 - Croydon to Heathrow Airport
  • SL8 - Uxbridge to White City
  • SL9 - Heathrow Airport to Harrow
  • SL10 - Harrow to North Finchley

Route SL4 route connecting Canary Wharf and Grove Park will go into service when the Silvertown Tunnel opens in 2025.

Bus action plan

We're introducing a range of improvements as part of our Bus action plan to make bus travel in London better and faster.

Working with boroughs, we plan to introduce 25km of new and improved bus lanes by 2025. We've also confirmed plans to increase live journey information across the city. This includes more than 300 new Countdown signs to boost the overall number by 12%, as well as hundreds of new or upgraded shelters.

Making the bus network zero-emission is one of the major things that we can do to decarbonise London's transport network. There are already more than 1,400 zero emission buses in London, and we have committed to converting the whole fleet by 2034. This target could be brought forward to 2030, subject to Government funding.

In 2024 we'll also trial high-power fast charging technology on route 358 between Crystal Palace and Orpington - this will enable buses to cover a greater distance without having to return to the garage to recharge.

See the Bus action plan on the Mayor's Transport Strategy page.

Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth line has cut journey times in London and the southeast - example journey times include Tottenham Court Road to Ilford in 24 minutes and Ealing Broadway to Canary Wharf in 34 minutes.

The line has also transformed accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.

24 trains an hour run at the busiest times between Paddington and Whitechapel.

New DLR trains

We're introducing 54 new DLR trains to replace the 33 oldest trains in the fleet. This will help make the service even more reliable and frequent, and support population and employment growth.

The new trains feature improvements including spacious walk-through carriages, air conditioning and better access, with 3 multi-use areas in addition to 3 dedicated wheelchair spaces.

The first new train will be available for passenger use in 2024, with the whole fleet in place by 2026.

Find out more on the Improving the DLR page.

We launched DLR timetable changes in May 2023 to further reduce waiting times, relieve crowding and make it easier for people to access housing, employment and leisure opportunities across the Docklands and east London.

New Piccadilly line trains

Siemens Mobility is manufacturing 94 new Tube trains to replace the 1970s-built Piccadilly line fleet. We're currently planning for the first train to enter passenger service in 2025.

The state-of-the-art Tube trains will significantly improve the experience of millions of customers, with wider doors and longer, walk-through, air-conditioned carriages for more comfortable and accessible journeys.

Once the 94 new trains replace the existing 86 trains, we will be able to increase the frequency of trains in peak hours from the current 24 to 27 trains an hour - one every 135 seconds - at the busiest times.

Find out more on the Piccadilly line upgrade page.

Barking Riverside

The London Overground station at Barking Riverside now connects passengers to central London in as little as 22 minutes and to Barking in 7 minutes.

Walking and cycling

We're working with London's boroughs on a range of walking and cycling improvements that support Healthy Streets across outer London including:

  • A 12km route connecting Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters and the Nag's Head. Some parts of this proposed route are under construction as part of Cycleway 50
  • Plans with the London Borough of Brent for a new Cycleway - part of their Healthy Streets improvements between Wembley and Willesden
  • A future Cycleway between Greenwich and Woolwich. This route will be part of Cycleway 4, linking Tower Bridge and Woolwich
  • In early 2022 we consulted on an extension of the Cycleway 9 route to run from Brentford to Hounslow - this would link West Kensington, Hammersmith, Chiswick and Brentford
  • Improvements to the Manor Circus roundabout in Richmond to make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle. As part of the works, we will also be refurbishing the bridge deck beneath the roundabout

Find out more about Cycleways.