Londoners are being invited to have their say on a proposed cross-river extension to the DLR, which could allow up to 30,000 new homes to be built.
A consultation launched on Monday by Transport for London (TfL) has asked for feedback on the plan to extend the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead – with the potential for further extensions to Belvedere and beyond.
The scheme has been launched to connect Thamesmead with the rest of the city while allowing for a substantial number of new homes to be built.
Thamesmead currently has no Tube, DLR or railway connections to the rest of London, with buses providing the only means of public transport.
TfL said it had considered a number of possible routes – including by extending the London Overground from Barking Riverside, or by creating a new tram service – but that extending the DLR from Gallions Reach would be the most effective option.
The new DLR branch would include a new station the north bank of the river at Beckton Riverside. The area was part of the former Beckton Gas Works and now includes the Gallions Reach Retail Park, with plans in place for a new town centre and surrounding homes to be built there.
The route would then cross the Thames via a new tunnel to reach Thamesmead. TfL believes the project would enable the creation of between 25,000 and 30,000 new homes across four development sites on both sides of the river.
TfL states on the consultation webpage: “We also considered potential onward extensions of the DLR from Thamesmead to locations in Bexley, including Belvedere.
“While beneficial, these longer routes would add significant costs, without delivering significant amounts of additional housing or journey time improvements.
“This is because these areas are already served by the existing rail network, which provides them with faster routes into central London.
A map showing the preferred option for extending the DLR to Thamesmead, including a potential further extension to Belvedere.
“Whilst we are not progressing this option at this time, we could design our preferred option so that the line could be extended at a later date.”
The plans are backed by mayor Sadiq Khan, who 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.”
A map showing the various options considered by TfL to connect Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside.
He was joined in his support for the plans by Abena Oppong-Asare, Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, who said: “This would be a much-needed public transport improvement for the people of Thamesmead who need to be able to travel easily and cheaply for work, study or leisure.
“I’ve long campaigned for these ambitious plans to put Thamesmead on the transport map and I’m pleased to have had the support of local authorities, TfL, local businesses, community groups, and most importantly the people who live here.”
TfL said that funding for the scheme’s feasibility work has so far been provided by a partnership of private and public sector bodies with an interest in regenerating the area. The aim is to agree an affordable solution by 2025, in order to enable construction to begin as early as 2028 and open the DLR extension in the early 2030s.
The consultation is open from February 5 to March 18. To participate, visit: https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/dlr-extension