Transport for London (TfL) has launched a public consultation on proposals for a £1bn extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). The preferred route is a tunnelled cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside. A new DLR station would be built at Beckton Riverside, with a tunnel built under the River Thames linked to another new DLR station at Thamesmead. It would build on experience from 2009 when the DLR was extended to Woolwich Arsenal, tunnelling beneath the River Thames, with housing growth following in areas including Woolwich, Canning Town, and the Royal Docks.
The plans would support the delivery of new transport links, homes and regeneration in Thamesmead and Beckton, and the consultation is open from 5 February 2024 to 18 March 2024. Public feedback will be used to help make decisions about the scheme and inform the designs and next steps. The next stage in the process after public consultation will be progressing the scheme towards Outline Business Case.
Investment in this scheme would support a UK-wide supply chain, supporting growth and job creation across the country. The DLR extension would also directly support the creation of up to 10,000 jobs, benefitting London and the national economy, and it would provide quicker journeys to other parts of east London like Stratford and the Isle of Dogs, with direct connections to central London via the Jubilee and Elizabeth lines, transforming housing, employment and leisure opportunities for the people who live in the area.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “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.”
TfL and its partners submitted a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to Government in 2023 outlining how an extension of the DLR could have a transformative effect on the area. While a key part of this work will be to identify options for maximising local and regional sources of funding, as well as driving cost and creating efficiencies, the scale of the projects mean that some degree of external support will be required.
Funding for the feasibility work has been provided to date 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 opening the DLR extension to customers in the early 2030s.