The ninth London Superloop bus route launches this weekend

It’s east London’s turn to get a rapid orbital bus service

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Superloop bus in London
Photograph: TfL

It’s only been a week or so since the most recent addition to London’s Superloop bus network (and just a month since the route before that was launched), but now yet another rapid bus service is set to kick-off in the capital. Following the first routes’ launch last summer and further expansion in December and earlier this year, another Superloop service will officially launch this weekend.

Named the SL2, the newest Superloop route will be in east London and link up Walthamstow Central and North Woolwich. It’ll launch this Saturday, March 2.

The SL2 will stop at destinations throughout Walthamstow (including Wood Street and Hoe Street) before heading through Gants Hill, Ilford and Barking. It’ll be the ninth official Superloop route and the last one to launch this calendar year. 

Is this the first time you’re hearing about the Superloop? Let us bring you up to speed. First pitched way back in the late 2000s, the project intends to create a system of rapid bus routes that have fewer stops and link up London’s outer boroughs. The idea is that those wanting to get between outer boroughs can do so more easily, without having to go all the way in and out of the city centre. 

Some Superloop bus routes have involved TfL launching brand-new services, while others have essentially repackaged and rebranded existing bus routes. For example, much (but not all) of the new SL2 route is currently covered by the 123. 

The existing Superloop services are the SL1 (North Finchley to Walthamstow Central), SL3 (Thamesmead to Bromley North), SL5 (Bromley North to Croydon Town Centre), SL6 (West Croydon to Russell Square), SL7 (West Croydon to Heathrow Airport), SL8 (Uxbridge to White City), SL9 (Heathrow Airport to Harrow) and SL10 (Harrow to North Finchley).

Next up is the SL4, which is set to run from Westferry Circus to Grove Park. That service is set to begin services in March 2025.

Did you see that the Elizabeth line is getting £140 million to fix issues and delays?

Plus: more bus routes could be coming to northeast London.

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Paul Foot in Fitzrovia is out now.

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