DLR extension to Thamesmead is TfL’s ‘first priority’ says commissioner Andy Lord
TfL hopes an extension of the DLR could enable the building of 25,000–30,000 new homes in Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside.
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An extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to reach Thamesmead is Transport for London’s (TfL) number one priority regarding new rail projects, according to TfL’s commissioner.
The development would see a new cross-river DLR extension from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside and, if plans go ahead, it could be built “as early as 2030 or 2031”.
Thamesmead, built on former marshland on the south bank of the River Thames in south east London, is currently unserved by Tube, DLR, Overground and National Rail services.
The closest stations for the area are currently Abbey Wood, Plumstead and Belvedere.
“The extension of the DLR to Thamesmead, which would unlock over 30,000 new homes and 10,000 jobs in southeast London, would be our first priority in terms of new rail projects,” TfL commissioner Andy Lord told LondonWorld.
“It’s our number one programme supported by the mayor for unlocking regeneration in the south east around Abbey Wood and the Greenwich area.”
If plans go ahead a new DLR station would be built at Beckton Riverside.
A new tunnel would be dug under the Thames to carry the line to another new station at Thamesmead.
“We’ve put in a strategic outline to the government for their initial support. We’ve got the housing developers lined up ready to go,” Mr Lord said.
“We’re really excited about it. There’s cross-party political support for it and we think there’s a really strong business case to justify extension. It could be open as early as 2030 or 2031.”
TfL says it is working on how the scheme could be funded and delivered, and, subject to this, an application for consent could be submitted in 2026
TfL says the extension could also bring a new bus transit to the area, which would provide a “quick and reliable service between Woolwich, Plumstead, Thamesmead and Abbey Wood”.
Based on a 2020 study, it is estimated that the extension, along with additional trains, would cost around £800 million to provide five trains per hour.
Funding for the extension is likely to come from a mix of local developers, local council borrowing and housing infrastructure funds, as well as a central government grant.