Friday 31 March 2023

Daft Or Dynamic : Mr Khan Has An Idea (1)

 A New Toy For The Mayot

News broke during the week of the latest spiffing idea from Mr Khan, Mayor of London (pictured having his idea, below).
Do not confuse the London Mayor above with the TV Comedy character, Mr Khan (below) ...
... Beautifully played by actor Adil Ray.
Inspired by one of his favourite toys, and with just a touch of inspiration from Elon Musk's Hyperloop vacuum powered train ...
 ... Mayor Khan is making a spectacular proposal for London Buses.
Only it isn't.

You might suppose that his Mayorship, about to introduce even more restrictions on travel in the City in the form of his expanded ULEZ, (Is your ulez expanded missus; oooh you should go to the doctor to avoid complications!), would try something good.

The existing ULEZ is shown in light blue on the map below.
The new ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) will cover the whole of Greater London!

So, faced with the opprobrium of most of London's vehicle owners, Mr Khan has had his dynamic bus idea.

It doesn't look very good at all.

Journalists have been quick to explain the scheme to their readers. One suggested it would be just like Paris.

Paris used to have a 'Petite Ceinture" ("small belt') rail line running right round the city.
Most of it is now closed and abandoned. It was replaced by Bus P.C.
The route had improving rolling stock ...
... and much of it is now replaced by trams, notably route 3 running as 3a (ORANGE) and 3b (GREEN) ..
... with just a short gap to be filled.
fbb has ridden about three quarters of "Le Superloop Parisien" and it is magnificent, mostly running on reserved track ...
... much of it seeded with lush green plastic grass.

Is this what Mt Khan has in mind? In your dreams, Londoners!

Here is Mayor Khans cunning  plan!
Looking at the colours, we can glean that SEVEN orbital bus routes will complete the loop - except that each of the seven will remain separated services; no through running is intended. So passengers on longer loopy journeys will have to change. So three separate legs from Northwick Park to Teddington.

The DARK BLUE line does not loop anywhere. It is the current 607 so-called Express service ...
... which, once upon a time, used to have distinctive "Express" blinds in blue.
The dotty RED line is the X68 tunning peak hours (Monday to Friday only) between Russell Square and Croydon.
It doesn't loop either!

And then there are three buses and a swim from Edmonton to Sidcup

Then there is the mysterious Canary Wharf to Grove Park (DARK GREY) route. This simply does not exist. If it ever arrives it will use the new Silvertown Tunnel ...
...which Mr Khan is building. He must have a big shovel.
It is being promoted by Transport for London and will be delivered through a design, build, finance and maintain contract by the Riverlinx consortium. The tunnel is intended to reduce congestion through the Blackwall Tunnel and both tunnels will be tolled when it opens in 2025.

The new route is (provisionally) numbered X239. There have been several 239s (sans X) over the years ...
... but the new X239 is different, only "proposed"  and does not loop.

The only reason 607, X68 and X239 (proposed) apper on this map is that they are limited stop routes. But they are absolutely nothing to do with the super Superloop loop-with-a-big-and-partly-wet-gap.
Royal Docks top left; Bexleyheath bottom right - and ne'er the twain shall meet!

fbb intends to look more closely at the "Loop" proposals in due course - but, for now, the stabbed eyeballs have had enough for the day (i.e. yesterday).

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 1st April 


  1. Even Roger French, usually less than complimentary about TfL thinks this is a good idea. I'm beginning to wonder if FBB actually lkes anything.

    As for FBB's apparent assertion that it should be one long route, that's an insane idea. It would be impossible to operate reliably.

  2. The other point is that almost all passengers use circular routes for just a part of the complete journey. For longer journeys between points that are further apart on the circle, there is likely to be a more direct alternative - especially in London.

  3. The 607 blinds are still blue for now. Not sure if that will carry into the digital blind era