Superloop update: Bus route X68 renamed to SL6 - from 31 July

Alert for bus data users: Bus route X68 renamed to SL6 - from 31 July.

TransXChange data have been updated to support this (Unified API data will be updated shortly). Please make sure your apps are showing the correct information for bus users.

Further information:
As part of the initial stage of the rollout of Superloop, some existing bus routes are being renamed.

Following on from the first route (607 renamed as SL8 on 15 July), the next route to be renumbered will be X68, a peak-only (Mon-Fri) service between Russell Square to West Croydon. It will be called the SL6 from Mon 31 July - with other existing routes which will form part of the proposed Superloop, being renumbered over the summer.

Please also note:
From Saturday 19 August 2023, buses on route SL8 will run earlier in the morning and later at nights:

  • The first bus from Uxbridge departs at 04:30 on Monday to Sunday mornings
  • The first bus from White City departs at 05:10 on Monday to Sunday mornings
  • The last bus from Uxbridge departs at 23:50 on Monday to Sunday nights
  • The last bus from White City departs at 00:20 on Monday to Sunday nights

Buses will continue to run every seven to 15 minutes throughout the day. There are currently no other changes to the service. There are currently no other changes to the service.


I’m almost tempted to submit a FoI request asking for the background on how these renumberings were decided…

The X68 becomes the SL6
The X26 becomes the SL7
The 607 becomes the SL8

Why not…

X68 > SL8
X26 > SL6
607 > SL7

to at least keep some link to the former numbers?

And Super Late (Super L8) really does seem like an odd choice anyway…


Hi Simon,

The Superloop bus routes will be numbered SL1 to SL10 in a clockwise direction, as per this diagram:

1 Like

I would guess the idea is that the numbers go both clockwise and are in more-or-less the position on the hand, so number three is in the east.

Thus if you need to travel on two of them, they will be in consecutive order.

You can’t go directly from SL2 to SL3
You can’t go from SL3 to/from SL4 (maybe in the future…?)
You can’t go from SL4 to/from SL5
You can only go from SL5 or SL7 to the SL6 for a few hours in the morning M-F.
You can only go from the SL6 to the SL5 or SL7 for a few hours in the evening M-F
You can’t go from the SL7 to the SL8

So the longest consecutive numbered Superloop route ‘chain’ you could do would be SL8 > SL9 > SL10.



So, your better idea is?

The consultation is open still so it’s all up for improvements.

I’m in Zone 2 so this is of only academic interest to me…

SL2-SL3: I still think moving the Cable Car to link the north bank (Barking Riverside) to Thamesmead would a great idea.

It doesn’t look quite so loopy when your draw it out in the real world…

perhaps, knowing the state of the traffic, it’s more of a slowly loop? :grin:

So, your better idea is?
The consultation is open still so it’s all up for improvements.

The orbital ‘Superloop’ routes themselves I’m in favour of, well, actually, I’d prefer an orbital rail line but let’s prove the need first, I’m just not in favour of the renumbering and rebranding of the existing routes…

If I were a hard-up transport authority that’s needed to go to the government for funding and is about to axe the one-day travelcard, I probably wouldn’t be wasting perfectly good money on renumbering and re-branding routes that didn’t need either of those things.
I probably wouldn’t bother wasting people’s time and money with a consultation that’s practically already been decided i.e. “We’re thinking about introducing a network of orbital bus routes, what do you think?” whilst at the same time "Hey, we’re renumbering and rebranding the 607, X26 and X68 into the Superloop series ", the latter makes it more or less a done deal does it not?

I believe someone once said that TfL has a legal duty to consult, however, it doesn’t have a legal duty to pay any notice to the results of said consultation…

I don’t live in London and my local operator is threating to remove my local bus route’s peak time service and remove all local services after 8/9pm. Guess where I’d like central government to send the money TfL are spending on this…

Anyway, this is the wrong place to ait these views, so this will be my last discussion of in public here.



As I understand it, TfL as a division of the Government of London has the decisions taken about what it does and budgets taken by politicians, but when it does a consultation this is not a political referendum, but a simple consultation.

The point of a consultation is not to judge whether something is popular, that is purpose of political voting, but to ask the public and organizations if the proposals are both legal and technically possible.

If the public wish to object the thing being consulted on then there are democratic channels (voting and protest) for that.

Many TfL consultations are on comparatively minor route changes on which there are absolutely no legal or technical issues. The proposed 346/497 changes in Havering would be an example. The only point of consulting on those is to get views on whether the change would improve or worsen the service for particular users. The cynic in me says that the only point of consulting is to meet the legal requirement to consult and then carry on regardless and given that money is the root reason for many changes that is hardly surprising. As you say, it is not a referendum, but there have been occasions when a change has been dropped or an alternative suggestion adopted.

@mjcarchive I’ve just filled in the SL2 survey in repones to the email TfL sent me about it. and (personal questions aside) this is what is being asked for…

Which is, as I said, questions of a technical nature. I was permitted to say my observations about the proposal, which amounted to:

If you want to cross the river to finish the journey, foot passengers don’t use the Woolwich Ferry, but the DLR from King George V, this would be a much better place to finish the SL2 bus route as the DLR interchange would be actually useful. Almost no passengers use the ferry as the DLR is faster and cleaner. There is also no SL3 connection to the Ferry on the south side either as that starts 3.5km away in Thamesmede. It’s also odd to miss out a connection to the Central line towards Epping at South Woodford - otherwise it’s complicated trip (via Leytonstone reverse) as the SL2 bus is going past… Does it “go without saying” that there is limited use of a limited stop bus if it just gets stuck in traffic. Going via the North Circular and dual-carriageway roads is great for speed, but no so good for air quality. Will the bus have aircon and particle filters?