In Shadwell, there are two stations very close to each other, but separated by a busy and often quite dirty street. Plans have been announced by Tower Hamlets council to improve the area.

The plans will see the narrow pavements widened in places, although they still need to retain the loading bays for the local shops which has limited how much can be done. Widened pavements mean they have to repave the area, which is showing its years of neglect, so will start to look a lot smarter afterwards.

The biggest improvement to pedestrian safety though is likely to be the widening of the existing standard width pedestrian crossing so it can accommodate more people. And more realistically, as many people in the area start crossing the road before getting to it, the wider zebra-crossing should make getting across the road a bit safer.

Tower Hamlets says that over 7,000 people use the zebra crossing every day.

Directly outside the Overground station is a short road and loading bay, which will be pedestrianised, which will save people having to cross what is still a road to get to the Overground station.

Proposals also include improvements to street lighting around the DLR station and near Watney Market, new cycle stands and more greening and planting.

The street upgrades are part of a £1 million improvements package, the Shadwell Liveable Streets scheme, which will also see changes in the wider area to improve them for pedestrians.


Plans to move the two stations closer together have been looked at in the past, but the costs are prohibitive.


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  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    I think I hurried to try out the DLR station when it opened in 1987* and I think it was a longer route from the old East London Line station entrance.

    When I pass by recently it seemed oddly similar, so the new crossing will be welcomed, I’m sure.

    * I wasn’t even sure I could use my All Zones Travelcard to use it.

  2. JP says:

    The biggest improvement to this interchange wouldn’t cost a penny and would take five minutes to implement – the removal of the annoying one-way system that’s been in place since Covid came along. Passengers interchanging from the DLR to the Overground currently have to go all the way round to the Cable Street entrance. And to make matters worse – there is no indication of this until you get to the Cornwall Street barriers. I’m sure many people will have pointlessly missed a train as a result.

    • ianVisits says:

      With trains every few minutes though, the extra 20 seconds of walking is hardly going to cause a significant problem — and we are in a pandemic at the moment, the social distancing is there for a reason.

    • Jon says:

      It doesn’t help with social distancing though, it just creates a sort of crush as a bunch of people squeeze round the building.

  3. Dave says:

    An extra wide zebra crossing – obviously they exist – just not encountered or been aware of them before.

    Assumed a long time ago the ZC would be phased out by pelican crossings. More recent renaissance, with illuminated poles and orange LED’s and spotlights at more vulnerable sites.
    Obviously not going away anytime soon.

  4. Neil Roth says:

    Is there any good reason why the bus stop shown has to move 5 metres further away from both stations? Will this scheme be the subject of a formal consultation, please?

  5. Mothiur Rahman says:

    Isn’t there a way to install stairs – metal or brick from where the Santander Cycle Docking station is? They could even make a stairwell directly into the ‘Overground’ underground platform there.

    The DLR platform can easily be extended as they did in connecting Hackney Central to Hackney Downs.

  6. Maggie H says:

    Please put a scale on your maps and plans.

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