please empty your brain below

I’m surprised that Waltham Forest Town Hall was the chosen bus stop, and not Bell corner (as previous consultations had indicated) as it makes a pretty poor interchange from SL1 and other buses from the north - a good 250m walk rather than a diagonal crossing of one junction.

Ease of SL1 -> SL2 interchange was clearly not a priority here.
Thank you for the advice, but I have no intention of ever riding the loop. What an horrendous idea! 😳
I’m sure someone will have already done the loop by the end of this weekend.

dg writes: by mid-afternoon on Saturday.

dg writes: see last week.
Any idea why the launch was so badly managed by TfL or the operator? Was it always scheduled for this weekend or brought forward perhaps for fear of purdah kicking in, which would prevent political publicity? Not that this feels like the greatest Superloop launch to publicise.

dg writes: We've known since last year that the SL2 would be launched on 2nd March.
I haven’t used any of the Superloop routes yet apart from SL9 and SL10 (as they’re my local ones). I’m definitely doing the whole loop in summer. It’s going to be fun…

The SL2 seems to have had the poorest launch of all the Superloop buses after reading this post.

I don’t know why some people think the loop is a bad idea. Although I agree it hasn’t been delivered perfectly. It fulfils its prime purpose of linking schools, hospitals and stations and tends to be express between these locations, wasting less time.
Reported on by Whiggism:

"I managed to complete the orbital route today going clockwise from Thamesmead and ending at North Woolwich with an overall journey time of 9 hours and 39 minutes"

I won't be trying it myself.
Central London Already has a the circle line as an orbital route. Inner London already has the Overground as an orbital route. It was about time outer London also got an orbital route, and that is the Superloop.
Loving the cultural SL2 reference !
I continue to be amazed that TfL haven't got onto electronic destination blinds by now, when virtually all other operators have had them for years!
Nice, thanks. Shame about the busy single carriageway, had been hoping for a fast new link to Ilford for the Lizzie line
I live in hope that at some point adjustments/refinements to the SL routes will be made. Omitting South Woodford station on the SL2 is a mistake I think.
So it looks like they needed at least another week then, TfL didn't list the change on their website until 29th February - perhaps they weren't sure either.

The 'Bell' interchange is poor, the 275 serves all the stops in the area, so a decision was made to make it less convenient for anyone changing between the SL1 and SL2 heading east - perhaps TfL were thinking about those changing between the 123 and SL2.

The Ilford - North Woolwich section is more helpful than it appears, the 366 is hopelessly indirect - finally a fast link between North Woolwich and the major bus interchanges at Barking and Ilford - the 'hopper fare' suddenly becomes useful.

There are new buses fitted with electronic blinds, they have finally more or less matched the standard of traditional ones - but I don't think TfL have any plans to retrofit the existing fleet.
Won't the one hour TfL bus ticket limit make it difficult to do any serious 'looping'?

dg writes: no
Yay, I was waiting for this post! I took the SL2 yesterday as it's close to where I live, from Walthamstow to Barking which took about an hour. Like the others, very disappointed with the lack of branding on the bus, and the lack of SL1/SL2 interchange at Bell Corner. I didn't see the point of stopping at Waltham Forest Town Hall, but I may be wrong.

I really wish there was another better route between Ilford and Barking. At that rate, it's not that much faster than taking the EL1 or 169 if you're just stopping there.

It still really annoys me that they didn't take the opportunity and money to at least improve and enhance the Woolwich Ferry travel - a great opportunity lost by not promoting it if they're not even going to close the loop. I mentioned that the TfL during the consultation.

Otherwise, it was a good journey and I'll be doing Barking to North Woolwich soon - even more so if there's going to be a stop at the Gallions Reach Shopping Centre - here's hoping!
The LOTS website does indeed confirm the launch was brought forward a week.

Geoff - It is requirement of TfL that buses use traditional blinds - apparently more reliable than electronic displays. A pity they went from yellow lettering to white - mau=y be clearer at night but in daylight it's just grey, and harder to pick out if there are reflections off the glass screen.
I had considered doing the entire loop one day - but I'm not any more! Thanks!
I could get down to Cornwall and half way back again quicker than that!
Bus lanes have recently been installed on Woodford Avenue for about half a mile between the Longwood Gardens and Clayhall Avenue junctions. I presume this was done in anticipation of the new SL2 Superloop buses using them. The amount of anger and vitriol these have generated on the local Nextdoor app is huge (including a petition to have them removed). It seems some people are very firmly wedded to their own personal transport.
Try as I might, I am unable to avoid picturing bowlfuls of Heinz spaghetti hoops, each time the Superloop is described.
Agree the Walthamstow Town Hall stop is superfluous. Why no stop at the Waterworks to interchange with the 20 to strike out northwards instead?
Ilford - Barking; use the North Circular instead of the Ilford Lane crawl.
I think they must have withdrawn that requirement. All the SL9 SL10 and 142 buses I have seen have electronic "blinds" now.

Ilford Lane has been a traffic nightmare for decades. Given the lack of stops between Ilford and Barking, I'm not sure why this wasn't sent via the North Circular, even the expanse of adding a loop to get to Barking Town Centre
The new S2 debuted yesterday and it too has electronic blinds. Annoyingly, the refresh rate means it was hard to take a photo that clearly showed the destination/route number which will frustrate historians in the future. I am looking forward to dg's write up - he hinted a few weeks ago that he would be riding it this weekend!
Just been reading the report on Bus & Train User by Roger French, he has a photo of the side panel on the bus...
...although why are there two ticks between Ilford Stn. and Barking Stn?

Circle for Ilford Station.
Tick for the Chapel Road stops.
Mystery extra tick for ???
Circle for Barking Station
Tick for the London Road stops

The five ticks between Walthamstow and Gants Hill are correct.
TfL weren't liking LED blinds because they weren't as high definition as actual blinds... that was until a few years ago when the technology finally caught up with ultra HD LED blinds (my non-bus fan friends can't tell the difference!).

That said, it still seems to be the operator's choice, for now, of what to get. Stagecoach have a new batch of buses coming with physical blinds. The rest of the operators are opting for LED now.

LED blinds can go wrong too but definitely will be a step up given the general apathy with enforcing decent presentation nowadays. Far too many buses with broken/stuck side or back blinds displaying wrong/no information at all. The bulbs backlighting the physical blinds not working making them uselessly difficult to read at night...

The Sutton/Croydon changes also happened yesterday. Perhaps TfL were overstretched.
I can’t read the word Superloop without putting it to the tune of Chas’n’Dave’s Snooker Loopy.

Superloopy nuts are we…
I thought that all the latest TfL pure electric buses used electronic blinds.

The are very good and look like a traditional blind that has been very brightly lit. I have to admit it takes some looking at to realise that they are LED. Another big clue is they they are never even the tiniest bit wonky. And they always seem to show the correct destination.

I am a little bit surprised that there appear to be no plans to retrofit them to other buses but maybe it is expensive and/or disruptive.

I think electronic blinds look fantastic, and physical blinds will always work as well. My main concern is if it works and it shows the destination properly. I like the fancy 183 buses but often the back sign doesn't show the number. Otherwise I don't think I'd be bothered much, they both do the trick.
I read elsewhere that there was a programming issue, hence the lack of blinds.

The issue with branding was (apparently) due to the vehicles being used on other routes until the end of traffic on Friday night.

As a whole though, Arriva buses in east London have issues with their blinds on a regular basis so that could just be bolx.
I think I read somewhere that there is an option for the SL2 to take the A406 between Ilford and Barking if Ilford Lane is congested.
Couldn’t the SL2 just stop at railway stations (NR, LU, LO, DLR) for connectivity? Yes the Suffragette line will whisk you from Walthamstow to Barking but trips between many of these individual stations is difficult, without back tracking.
Here in Norfolk we have electronic blinds. They work perfectly well, except when the 'bus is driving into the sun, when they become unreadable.
I’d like to think it wasn’t McKenna Bros’ fault the blinds were missing. On a visit years ago they struck me as super-efficient, as small specialist firms tend to be. And only they still manufacture the old-style roller blinds, so TFL are entirely dependent on them.
This is a bit miserable in my view. I don’t know what time you went but I had happy passengers with me on Saturday who seemed to know what it was about or - in the case of naive/inquisitive characters at bus stops - they were briefed by helpful roving tfl staff. The buses did look a bit dishevelled and unprepared with mock up signage about route number and direction but added merrily to the first day feel for me.
I'm sure more people would use it if it went to City Airport after Woolwich Ferry
Report on The Bus Forum that the Armada Way stops were opened on 6th March.

No other confirmation.
Saw yesterday and today one disadvantage of electronic blinds. At least with a real blind you can still read it when its not working. I saw "Twicker" on a 281 yesterday and "Ealing F" on a 65 today (probably the same bus, as those routes use a common fleet). For some reason the division between the working half and the non-working half is not vertical.

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