Transport for London and their external partners have just started feasibility work on the proposed Docklands Light Railway extension from Gallions Reach to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead. The £1 million project has been fully funded by external partners and will allow the proposal to be further developed ahead of 25,000 new homes being built along the proposed route.
The extension would run from Gallions Reach (which is the penultimate stop on the current Beckton route) to Beckton Riverside and then across the Thames to Thamesmead. The news of this feasibility comes following the confirmation of the new Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for which public transport is a key component.
The feasibility work will be carried our by TfL as a joint commission between Arup and Atkins for design, engineering and environmental assessment and with Aecom for socio-economic support. Its being fully funded by external partners through a £1 million joint funding agreement between the London Borough of Newham, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and developers Thamesmead Waterfront, Aberdeen Standard Investments and St William.
Although the extension has not yet received funding the project was included in TfL’s submission to the recent Government Comprehensive Spending Review as one which could support new housing and jobs where they are most needed to regenerate both London and the wider UK economy.
This work will allow a further development of the exact route to be taken along with locations of new stations. There will also be support work on other transport options within the OAPF including a rapid bus corridor and new walking and cycling links. It will allow for further assessments on both the potential environmental impacts and transport benefits of all these schemes to ensure the best options to support growth in the area are taken forward – once funding has been identified and secured.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor of Transport, said: “I am delighted that boroughs and developers have committed to work with the Mayor to progress work on public transport options to support growth, including the Thamesmead DLR extension and bus transport corridor projects. These schemes are critical for realising our aspirations for unlocking new housing and jobs on both sides of the river in east London and ultimately creating successful places to live and work. By taking a collaborative approach we will maximise the likelihood of making them a reality.”
Cllr James Asser, Newham Council’s cabinet member for environment, highways and sustainable transport, added: “A new extension to the DLR could provide real opportunities for development and investment in homes and jobs in the south of the borough, in an area of London’s docklands which has huge amounts of potential. Opening up links into south east London would also provide new opportunities for residents both sides of the river for work, travel and education. Newham is committed to extending public transport in the borough which will bring benefits to our residents and also help us meet our targets to improve air quality and tackle congestion.”
While there is no guarantee that this feasibility work will lead to a decision to progress with the DLR extension this will be the first stage of expanding the network once more. We’ll keep you updated as and when more is known.