Extending the Docklands Light Railway to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead

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UPDATE 19 MARCH 2024

The consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded. We are analysing your feedback and will report back shortly.


Picture of Gallions Reach DLR stationWe would like to hear your views about our proposal to extend the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Our preferred option is a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach, with two new stations in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead.


On this page you can find out more about our preferred option, as well as other options we considered and the planned next steps for the scheme. There is also more detail about how you can have your say, and more information about the vision for Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead.

You have until 18 March 2024 to give us your feedback.



Our preferred option for long term public transport improvements

Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead

The need for more public transport

Other options we have considered

Other public transport information

How you can find out more

Tell us your views

Accessible Information

What happens next



Our preferred option for long term public transport improvements

We have considered several options to find the right public transport solution to serve Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside. These options were reviewed and compared based on cost, how quickly they could be delivered, their impact on the existing transport network and communities, and whether they met the wider objectives of supporting the maximum opportunity for new homes, jobs, and connections to retail and leisure activities.

We would now like your feedback on our preferred option of a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach. This would include a new station at Beckton Riverside, a tunnel under the River Thames, and a new station in Thamesmead.


As part of this programme but separately to this consultation, we are also looking at a new bus transit scheme from Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead to support our shared vision for the delivery of new homes, improved town centres and better access to jobs. We will consult you on this at a later date.

Our assessments have shown us that extending the DLR, building on providing a new bus transit scheme in Thamesmead in the shorter term, would:

  • Provide the transport capacity needed to support the construction of up to 25,000 to 30,000 new homes
  • Support development in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead and create a new community for residents and visitors
  • Provide better connections and quicker journeys across the River Thames to areas like London City Airport, Stratford, Abbey Wood Elizabeth line station and Canary Wharf
  • Reduce car dependency by providing a high-quality public transport option, supporting a shift towards more sustainable transport and lower carbon emissions
  • Connect communities to new job opportunities on both sides of the River Thames, supporting up to 10,000 new jobs
  • Improve connections to east and central London both directly and by enabling easy interchange with the Jubilee line and Elizabeth line

We are still in the early stages of design and planning and will consider all feedback to this consultation when deciding whether to continue with the scheme.



Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead

We have been working together with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Newham Council, and landowners Peabody, Lendlease, abrdn and St William to support the delivery of new homes, improved town centres and better access to jobs in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. This will only be possible through improved public transport connections.

Aerial image of Thamesmead

Our partnership is supported by Homes England, the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Department for Transport (DfT), and the Greater London Authority (GLA). This collaboration shows the importance of the project to the area.

Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead are two areas within the Thames Estuary Growth Corridor. They are critical to meeting London’s housing needs and supporting economic growth. The development sites at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront have the potential to create up to 25,000 to 30,000 new homes. This would be key to delivering on the Mayor of London’s commitment to deliver new homes for Londoners and the Government’s Levelling Up mission. This development will only be possible however if new public transport infrastructure is provided to make these isolated areas more accessible.


































You can find out more about the vision for Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead on our supplementary information page.



The need for more public transport

The proposed regeneration of Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside relies on a significant improvement in access to public transport, connecting these areas to the rest of London. High-quality public transport would:

  • Transform connectivity
  • Improve capacity
  • Unlock access to opportunities and jobs
  • Support long-term growth.

picture of a DLR train in a stationThamesmead and Beckton Riverside both lack direct rail services. Recent public transport extensions in other parts of London, including the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside, and the delivery of the Elizabeth line have been the catalyst for creating thousands of new homes and jobs, and connected communities to new retail and leisure activities.

We have reviewed several options for how we could provide more public transport to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead, maximising the connections to the existing transport network and giving communities better access to jobs and leisure activities.



Other options we have considered

Some of the other options we considered for new public transport to serve Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside are:

  • Enhanced bus services (without a new rail service)
  • A new tram service
  • Extending the London Overground from Barking Riverside
  • Alternative DLR extension options e.g. extending only to Beckton Riverside, or longer extensions beyond Thamesmead

We believe that an extension of the DLR is the right long-term solution because the alternative options do not offer the same value for money or improvements to capacity and efficiency that is needed for the area.

More detail about why we are not proposing to take these other options forward is available on our supplementary information page.



Other public transport information

The DLR extension would be part of a package of public transport improvements needed to support development in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. We are developing proposals for a bus transit scheme to run from Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead, and reviewing the current safeguarding for the Thames Gateway Bridge.



How you can find out more

We have provided more information to help you respond. Visit the Documents section for:

You can use the questions tool on this page during the consultation period. We will respond your questions as soon as we can.

Drop-in events

We are holding in-person events where you can hear more about our proposals.

  • Saturday 24 February Thamesmere Leisure Centre, Thamesmere Dr, London SE28 8RE (10:00-14:00)
  • Monday 26 February The Nest, Cygnet Square, London SE2 9UH (15:00-19:00)
  • Saturday 9 March Gallions Reach Retail Park, 3 Armada Wy, London E6 7ER (10:00-14:00)
  • Tuesday 12 March Beckton Globe Library, 1 Kingsford Way, London E6 5JQ (15:00-19:00)

Please come along and let us know your views. If you are unable to attend and would like to discuss the proposals further with us, please get in touch and we can respond to your queries directly.



Accessible Information

We want to make sure everyone is able to take part in our consultations. To help make it accessible to everyone we have provided:

  • An Easy Read version of our proposals and the survey
  • An audio version of the proposals and survey
  • You can translate the information on this page into another language by using the ‘Select Language’ button at the bottom of the page

Connecting with London's deaf community on our consultations

To further enhance how we consult with London's deaf community we offer:

  • A British Sign Language (BSL) video of our proposals and survey
  • A BSL conversation service. This allows the TfL consultation lead to have a two-way BSL translated discussion with a BSL user. To request a BSL conversation please contact us at haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk and we will be in contact to arrange a convenient time



What happens next

We will use your feedback to this consultation to help us decide how to move forward with this project and what issues and impacts we need to consider. We will publish a Consultation Report later in the year which will respond to the issues raised in the consultation.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

We will continue to work together with partners to develop our plans. We may hold further consultations in the future with more details about the scheme if we take these proposals forward.

UPDATE 19 MARCH 2024

The consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded. We are analysing your feedback and will report back shortly.


Picture of Gallions Reach DLR stationWe would like to hear your views about our proposal to extend the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Our preferred option is a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach, with two new stations in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead.


On this page you can find out more about our preferred option, as well as other options we considered and the planned next steps for the scheme. There is also more detail about how you can have your say, and more information about the vision for Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead.

You have until 18 March 2024 to give us your feedback.



Our preferred option for long term public transport improvements

Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead

The need for more public transport

Other options we have considered

Other public transport information

How you can find out more

Tell us your views

Accessible Information

What happens next



Our preferred option for long term public transport improvements

We have considered several options to find the right public transport solution to serve Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside. These options were reviewed and compared based on cost, how quickly they could be delivered, their impact on the existing transport network and communities, and whether they met the wider objectives of supporting the maximum opportunity for new homes, jobs, and connections to retail and leisure activities.

We would now like your feedback on our preferred option of a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach. This would include a new station at Beckton Riverside, a tunnel under the River Thames, and a new station in Thamesmead.


As part of this programme but separately to this consultation, we are also looking at a new bus transit scheme from Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead to support our shared vision for the delivery of new homes, improved town centres and better access to jobs. We will consult you on this at a later date.

Our assessments have shown us that extending the DLR, building on providing a new bus transit scheme in Thamesmead in the shorter term, would:

  • Provide the transport capacity needed to support the construction of up to 25,000 to 30,000 new homes
  • Support development in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead and create a new community for residents and visitors
  • Provide better connections and quicker journeys across the River Thames to areas like London City Airport, Stratford, Abbey Wood Elizabeth line station and Canary Wharf
  • Reduce car dependency by providing a high-quality public transport option, supporting a shift towards more sustainable transport and lower carbon emissions
  • Connect communities to new job opportunities on both sides of the River Thames, supporting up to 10,000 new jobs
  • Improve connections to east and central London both directly and by enabling easy interchange with the Jubilee line and Elizabeth line

We are still in the early stages of design and planning and will consider all feedback to this consultation when deciding whether to continue with the scheme.



Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead

We have been working together with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Newham Council, and landowners Peabody, Lendlease, abrdn and St William to support the delivery of new homes, improved town centres and better access to jobs in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. This will only be possible through improved public transport connections.

Aerial image of Thamesmead

Our partnership is supported by Homes England, the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Department for Transport (DfT), and the Greater London Authority (GLA). This collaboration shows the importance of the project to the area.

Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead are two areas within the Thames Estuary Growth Corridor. They are critical to meeting London’s housing needs and supporting economic growth. The development sites at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront have the potential to create up to 25,000 to 30,000 new homes. This would be key to delivering on the Mayor of London’s commitment to deliver new homes for Londoners and the Government’s Levelling Up mission. This development will only be possible however if new public transport infrastructure is provided to make these isolated areas more accessible.


































You can find out more about the vision for Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead on our supplementary information page.



The need for more public transport

The proposed regeneration of Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside relies on a significant improvement in access to public transport, connecting these areas to the rest of London. High-quality public transport would:

  • Transform connectivity
  • Improve capacity
  • Unlock access to opportunities and jobs
  • Support long-term growth.

picture of a DLR train in a stationThamesmead and Beckton Riverside both lack direct rail services. Recent public transport extensions in other parts of London, including the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside, and the delivery of the Elizabeth line have been the catalyst for creating thousands of new homes and jobs, and connected communities to new retail and leisure activities.

We have reviewed several options for how we could provide more public transport to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead, maximising the connections to the existing transport network and giving communities better access to jobs and leisure activities.



Other options we have considered

Some of the other options we considered for new public transport to serve Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside are:

  • Enhanced bus services (without a new rail service)
  • A new tram service
  • Extending the London Overground from Barking Riverside
  • Alternative DLR extension options e.g. extending only to Beckton Riverside, or longer extensions beyond Thamesmead

We believe that an extension of the DLR is the right long-term solution because the alternative options do not offer the same value for money or improvements to capacity and efficiency that is needed for the area.

More detail about why we are not proposing to take these other options forward is available on our supplementary information page.



Other public transport information

The DLR extension would be part of a package of public transport improvements needed to support development in Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. We are developing proposals for a bus transit scheme to run from Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead, and reviewing the current safeguarding for the Thames Gateway Bridge.



How you can find out more

We have provided more information to help you respond. Visit the Documents section for:

You can use the questions tool on this page during the consultation period. We will respond your questions as soon as we can.

Drop-in events

We are holding in-person events where you can hear more about our proposals.

  • Saturday 24 February Thamesmere Leisure Centre, Thamesmere Dr, London SE28 8RE (10:00-14:00)
  • Monday 26 February The Nest, Cygnet Square, London SE2 9UH (15:00-19:00)
  • Saturday 9 March Gallions Reach Retail Park, 3 Armada Wy, London E6 7ER (10:00-14:00)
  • Tuesday 12 March Beckton Globe Library, 1 Kingsford Way, London E6 5JQ (15:00-19:00)

Please come along and let us know your views. If you are unable to attend and would like to discuss the proposals further with us, please get in touch and we can respond to your queries directly.



Accessible Information

We want to make sure everyone is able to take part in our consultations. To help make it accessible to everyone we have provided:

  • An Easy Read version of our proposals and the survey
  • An audio version of the proposals and survey
  • You can translate the information on this page into another language by using the ‘Select Language’ button at the bottom of the page

Connecting with London's deaf community on our consultations

To further enhance how we consult with London's deaf community we offer:

  • A British Sign Language (BSL) video of our proposals and survey
  • A BSL conversation service. This allows the TfL consultation lead to have a two-way BSL translated discussion with a BSL user. To request a BSL conversation please contact us at haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk and we will be in contact to arrange a convenient time



What happens next

We will use your feedback to this consultation to help us decide how to move forward with this project and what issues and impacts we need to consider. We will publish a Consultation Report later in the year which will respond to the issues raised in the consultation.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

We will continue to work together with partners to develop our plans. We may hold further consultations in the future with more details about the scheme if we take these proposals forward.

  • Other public transport information

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    Bus transit scheme

    In November 2023, we secured Government funding for a bus transit scheme, which is planned to run from Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead. This would use dedicated bus priority lanes to provide quicker, more reliable journeys, and an affordable and accessible transport option with frequent connections to the Elizabeth Line and DLR services. It would also support the early phases of development at Thamesmead, ahead of the proposed DLR extension becoming operational. We are developing these proposals further, separate to the proposals for the extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach, and will consult you on our plans for a bus transit scheme at a later date.

    Thames Gateway Bridge

    Parts of the development sites at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront include land that has been safeguarded by Government as part of previous proposals for a possible Thames Gateway Bridge across the River Thames between Beckton and Thamesmead. Although there are now no plans to deliver a road crossing in this location, the land needed to build this bridge remains safeguarded by Government to stop other development taking place that would have prevented the future construction of the bridge. Safeguarding is a planning process which protects land required for infrastructure projects.

    The safeguarding of this land conflicts with the vision for new homes, jobs and high-quality town centres in these areas, and could limit the transformational opportunity of the proposed DLR extension (which would itself provide a new cross-river link).

    If we decide to continue with a DLR extension, following feedback to this consultation, we will explore the removal of the safeguarding with the Department for Transport and affected London Boroughs.


  • Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead - supplementary information

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    The population of London has grown rapidly over the past 20 to 30 years and is projected to rise by over a million people by 2041. East and southeast London have experienced a high share of this growth, however housing supply has not kept pace with the need and this shortfall is forecast to grow.

    Newham Council and the Royal Borough of Greenwich are identified in the London Plan as two of the top three boroughs for housing need, with more than 50,000 households across both boroughs on waiting lists.

    Thamesmead Waterfront and Beckton Riverside are two of the largest remaining brownfield sites in London. There is an opportunity to use this land to deliver two new residential communities, unlocking up to 25,000 to 30,000 homes and supporting up to 10,000 jobs. The sites are at the heart of the Thames Estuary Growth Corridor, a major area of economic priority for the Government.

    Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead are also areas with high levels of deprivation and inequality. Housing pressures have contributed to this, alongside poor access to the rail network and poor connections to areas with greater employment opportunities. New public transport would help regenerate these areas and support new parks, schools and leisure facilities, benefitting both existing and new communities.

    Thamesmead

    Beckton Riverside

    Local, regional and national policy



    Thamesmead

    Thamesmead is located on the south bank of the River Thames with a population of around 50,000. The town lies partly within the Royal Borough of Greenwich and partly within the London Borough of Bexley, and forms part of the Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Opportunity Area, as designated by the Mayor of London in the London Plan.

    Aerial image of Thamesmead

    Development in Thamesmead is incomplete, with a large area of planned development around the town centre yet to be delivered, due in part to a lack of public transport connections to the wider area. Without a rail station in the main part of Thamesmead, the area is highly dependent on cars and buses. This has led to pockets of high deprivation and a low Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL). PTAL is a key indicator of whether high levels of development could be achieved.

    The Thamesmead Waterfront development area is owned Peabody, who have partnered with Lendlease to develop the site.



    Beckton Riverside

    Beckton Riverside is on the northern bank of the River Thames, within the London Borough of Newham, and is part of the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area. It was part of the former Beckton Gas Works and now includes the Gallions Reach Retail Park and vacant sites to the south of Armada Way, within which the area’s industrial past remains visible. The area lies to the east of the established communities of Gallions Reach and Beckton, though connections between these areas are limited by the A1020 Royal Docks Road and surrounding industrial land uses.

    abrdn and St William Homes (part of the Berkeley Group) are working with Newham Council to bring forward development proposals for the area, centred around the creation of a new town centre at Beckton Riverside.

    Aerial image of Beckton Riverside



    Local, regional and national policy

    Regeneration in Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside, made possible by delivering new, high quality public transport, is supported in local, regional and national planning policies.

    National policy recognises the potential for development along the Thames Estuary, and the Thamesmead Waterfront and Beckton Riverside sites sit at the heart of this. This project aligns with the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, set up by Government, and is supported by the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework. The proposal to improve public transport and reduce car dependency in these areas also supports the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

    Both areas are designated as Opportunity Areas in the Mayor of London’s London Plan, which are areas of London identified as having the potential for transformational growth. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy also recognises the need to improve public transport in these areas, and commits to investigating the possibility of an extension of the DLR.

    The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Newham have been working on the renewal of their Local Plans. The development of these areas is included in Newham’s 2018 Local Plan, and as part of Greenwich’s 2021 Royal Greenwich Local Plan Review.

    More information about the wider proposals for enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront can be found on the councils’ websites [links to websites]. Here you can also find information about the Opportunity Area Planning Framework documents for Royal Docks & Beckton Riverside, and for Thamesmead & Abbey Wood.


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  • Other options we considered - supplementary information

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    We believe that an extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Gallions Reach to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead is the right long-term solution to better connect existing communities and enable the development of these areas.

    We looked at a number of other options before coming to our preferred option, and these are set out below.



    Enhanced bus services

    Tram

    London Overground

    Alternative DLR options



    Enhanced bus services


    We explored options to increase the number and frequency of bus services in Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside, without a new rail service. Although this would improve links to local town centres and the rail network, this option alone would not provide the level of connectivity or capacity needed to enable the 25,000 to 30,000 planned new homes in the area.



    Tram

    We looked at options to deliver a new tram service between Abbey Wood, Thamesmead, and potentially across the river. This would be similar to existing tram services which operate in South London. Whilst this option would provide a high-quality local service, it would offer a lower level of capacity than our preferred option. A cross-river connection would serve Beckton Riverside and provide greater connectivity, but the cost of building a tram tunnel would likely be similar to our preferred option of a DLR extension, without the benefit of providing a direct link into key employment areas.


    London Overground extension options

    We assessed a range of options to extend the London Overground from Barking Riverside to Thamesmead and beyond. This would open up new rail connections between parts of north and southeast London and create an outer orbital link across the River Thames. In doing so, these options would connect Thamesmead to National Rail and London Underground services at Barking, and potentially Elizabeth Line and National Rail services in southeast London.

    However, services would only operate at around four trains per hour compared with the potential for up to 15 trains per hour in the peak with a DLR extension. This level of service would be less attractive for Thamesmead, whilst Beckton Riverside would not be served at all, and therefore these options would be significantly less effective in supporting new homes. In addition, these services would not connect communities to big employment centres and this benefit is therefore lost. A London Overground extension would also be significantly higher cost than a DLR extension.



    Alternative DLR extension options

    We assessed alternative DLR extension options, including a shorter extension to Beckton Riverside, onward extensions from Thamesmead to other parts of southeast London, and an alternative route to Thamesmead via the existing Woolwich branch.

    Although a DLR extension from Gallions Reach to Beckton Riverside only would be lower cost than an extension across the River Thames, it would not serve Thamesmead. Existing residents of Thamesmead would remain isolated from the rail network, and the delivery of thousands of homes in Thamesmead Waterfront would not take place, given its limited connectivity to the public transport network. There would also not be the wider benefit of a new cross-river connection in east London and the opportunities this would bring.

    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. 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.

    We also assessed an alternative DLR route to Thamesmead that would extend the Woolwich branch, from either King George V or Woolwich Arsenal stations. This option was not taken forward because it would not support the delivery of new homes at Beckton Riverside. It would also likely cost a similar amount to build as the preferred option, due to the need to build a tunnel to connect to the existing DLR route in Woolwich. This option would also add passengers to a busier part of the DLR network, and potentially reduce services to Woolwich Arsenal.

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Page last updated: 19 Mar 2024, 11:33 AM