The formal consultation on plans to extend the DLR from Beckton to Thamesmead has opened, paving the way — eventually — to building the railway.

Proposed extension (c) TfL

The proposed DLR extension to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside would connect two Opportunity Areas and four development sites. A new DLR station would be built on the north side of the Thames, at Beckton Riverside, with a tunnel under the river to another new DLR station at Thamesmead.

There’s also an option preserved in the design to extend the DLR beyond Thamesmead towards Belvedere. An option to extend the link up with Abbey Wood was ruled out a long time ago as not only much more expensive but also not offering the wider benefits that an eastward expansion could deliver.

(A London Overground extension was also ruled out a long time ago)

TfL, along with Greenwich and Newham councils, and the three major landowners – Thamesmead Waterfront (a joint venture between Peabody and Lendlease), abrdn (formerly Aberdeen Standard Investments) and St William (a Berkeley Group company) – have all been working for several years to develop plans for the area.

The development sites at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront which would be linked by the DLR have the potential to create up to 25,000 to 30,000 new homes.

Beckton and Thamesmead from above (c) TfL

Although work has been underway for several years on the extension plans, the aim so far has been on developing an affordable extension, which if funding is approved, would enable construction to begin as early as 2028 and opening the DLR extension to customers in the early 2030s.

Ahead of that, they need to hold public consultations, and the first official consultation is now open.

The consultation seeking feedback from the public will be open until 18th March 2024 — and if you want to comment, do so on the consultation page here.

It should go without saying, which is why it needs saying — but commenting below or on social media won’t affect the outcome. If you want your views taken into consideration, respond to the consultation.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Although we have started a record-breaking 116,000 plus genuinely affordable homes and completed more homes of all types since any time since the 1930s, the demand for housing in London shows no sign of slowing down.

“I’m excited for TfL to launch this consultation - extending the DLR will unlock huge opportunities for London, support tens of thousands of new homes, deliver new transport connections, and boost the economy, supporting the creation of thousands of jobs. Enabling the infrastructure needed for the capital’s growth is key to building a better, more prosperous London for everyone.”

In the meantime, there’s a separate plan for a bus transit scheme linking Thamesmead to Woolwich, which would help bring forward housing developments that would otherwise have to wait for the DLR to be built.

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14 comments
  1. Bob says:

    I struggle to see the justification of heading to Thamesmead if only one station given the need for project funding elsewhere in London that can provide much housing. The proposed catchment area of new Thamesmead housing is vast and there’s just one DLR station so someway from most. Thus for most itll be no quicker heading to the DLR and so why not head to Woolwich and the Elizabeth line plus many other travel options?

    I say this having worked at Tilfen Land and having lived locally knowing this area extremely well. It seems…lacking and very expensive for what it does provide.

    • ianVisits says:

      Comments need to be sent to the consultation – posting them here wont be read by them.

    • Julian Walker says:

      It’s worth remembering that taking in Beckton Riverside and opening that up to new development as well is a significant part of the Business Case for the new extension. This proposal reads effectively as a funding bid from TfL to the Government.

  2. Jon H says:

    It’s about time. Probably one of the largest areas of London without transport connections. More transport links will have a positive knock on effect of investment and resources for so many people. The price per station is high but the price per capita is probably one of the lowest.

  3. Star says:

    And Bexley borough yet again don’t work with TfL. First no Elizabeth line and now no DLR.

    The sitting Labour MP for Thamesmead and Erith Abena Oppong-Asare should be pushing this for her ward to go to Belvedere!

    • ianVisits says:

      I am quite sure that if 30,000 new homes were built in Bexley, then there would be transport upgrades, so how about a nice cluster of towers on Danson Park?

    • Jack says:

      Strange decision crossing the river via tunnel, it must consume the majority of funding for the project and it’s hard to imagine there’s any demand to travel between Thamesmead and Beckton.

    • Star says:

      If you look at the Belvedere Master Plan that Bexley Council published years ago (), there were / are plans to build thousands of new homes on the brownfield sites around the station. Alongside potential redevelopment of the Asda site.

      There are also plans for Erith town centre developments too. Yet none talk about pushing government for transport.

    • ChrisC says:

      Jack and a bridge would be cheaper?

      And that’s before you consider the implications on traffic on the river.

      And then there are the additional roads required for access / egress the bridge.

    • Jack says:

      ChrisC, I meant it would be cheaper just to stay on the same side of the river. Crossing it is the extremely expensive bit.

  4. Heinous says:

    Seems to me fairly loopy to run so close to the Elizabeth line and not connect to it. This shows that decisions are based on what developers will pay, not on need.

  5. John Lewis says:

    Better to build this and plan for some leisurely places such as a park, indoor arcades centre, museum and possibly water park.

  6. daveid76 says:

    The two maps on the consultation page don’t show the extension route. Has there been a cock-up at TfL towers?

  7. Kornelia says:

    There should be connection to Bexley, Dartford and Kent.. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Not another train around Greenwhich only and it stops halfway. Please have a think about extending some routes our way (Dartford).

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