TfL launches consultation on DLR extension

6 February 2024

Transport for London (TfL) has opened consultation on extending the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), including a new tunnel under the River Thames and two new stations.

The preferred route is a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside. The new stations at Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside would be connected by a tunnel under the Thames.

TfL has been working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Newham and the Greater London Authority, as well as landowners Peabody, Lendlease, abrdn, St William (Berkeley Homes) and Homes England to support the delivery of new homes, improved town centres and better access to jobs within and from Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. TfL says this will only be possible by improving public transport connections.

The proposed DLR extension would connect two Opportunity Areas and four development sites. The project 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.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said extending the DLR would “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".

Greenwich Council leader Anthony Okereke said high quality public transport was essential to the local economy.

Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said the DLR extension had the potential to create a new town centre in the south of the borough, with more affordable homes, improved community infrastructure, as well as making the riverfront more accessible.

TfL and its partners submitted a Strategic Outline Case to the government last year, outlining how a DLR extension could transform the area. TfL says that 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, construction for the extension is currently unfunded and the scale of the projects mean some 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, to enable construction to begin as early as 2028 and opening the DLR extension in the early 2030s.

Consultation on the proposal closes on March 18.