TfL has secured funding to carry out more work on plans to extend the DLR from Beckton to Thamesmead.
The current proposals are for a new station be built in Beckton, with a bridge over (or tunnel under) the Thames to a new station in Thamesmead. Both sites are subject to lots of new housing being built, or planned, and the DLR extension was included in TfL’s latest financial plans.
If the DLR extension is built, then it’s provisionally expected to be able to offer 15 trains per hour – roughly one every four minutes. Although construction work is a long way from being funded, TfL has secured £1 million for feasibility work on the line so that they can clarify the likely route and any problems.
Providing new public transport options is expected to be able to support the delivery of more than 25,000 new homes along the route as well as improve connectivity across the river. The decision to progress this work comes as the Mayor of London signed the creation of the new Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF), which sets out a vision to deliver more than 15,000 new homes and around 8,000 jobs in the area south of the river.
The framework also supports growth aspirations north of the river at Beckton Riverside, where there is further potential for new homes and jobs in the coming years.
This next stage of technical work will allow further development of the route and the potential locations of stations to be considered. Support work on other transport options within the OAPF will also be carried out including options for a rapid bus corridor and new walking and cycling links. The suggested route for the bus lane would also benefit housing developments recently approved next to the roundabout in Plumstead, where it’s expected a lot of residents will want to catch the Elizabeth line at Woolwich.
The £1m joint funding agreement for the feasibility study is between the Newham and Greenwich councils, developers Thamesmead Waterfront, Aberdeen Standard Investments and St William.
Although not part of this feasibility study, the OAPF leaves open the possibility of extending the DLR further through Thamesmead towards Belvedere, and also on the north side of the river up towards Barking.
The OAPF also investigated the potential of extending the London Overground from Barking Riverside across the Thames to Abbey Wood, although this is not a preferred option as it would cost significantly more to build and operate, and would result in fewer trains per hour due to capacity constraints further up the line than the DLR option could deliver.