DLR to Thamesmead: Councils and developers stump up £1m to push project on

DLR at Elverson Road
The appraisal is being funded by councils and developers

Councils and developers have paid £1m to fund further work on developing a DLR extension to Thamesmead, which TfL says could support up to 15,000 new homes in the area.

Greenwich and Newham councils, together with Aberdeen Standard Investments, Peabody, Lendlease, Berkeley Homes and National Grid have stumped up the cash to help develop plans for the new rail route across the Thames at Gallions Reach, which was first announced by mayor Sadiq Khan four years ago.

The proposed route would leave the Beckton branch of the DLR at Gallions Reach station and serve major development sites at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront.

Consultants will also study ways of making it easier to walk and cycle in Thamesmead as well as plans for a new rapid bus link between Woolwich, Thamesmead and Abbey Wood – effectively a revival of the long-dead Greenwich Waterfront Transit scheme.

TfL Thamesmead map
Rapid bus links are planned as well as the DLR extension

Khan has signed off a new planning framework for Thamesmead and Abbey Wood which effectively rules out the other possibility for a rail link for Thamesmead – a London Overground extension from Barking Riverside – on grounds of cost and because it would not serve major development sites. (See the transport framework here.)

Peabody and Landlease are developing the new site at Thamesmead Waterfront, while across the Thames, Berkeley and National Grid are working on Beckton Riverside. Both areas could support 15,000 homes each, TfL says.

Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander 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.”

TfL recently included the £800m project in a bid for government funding ahead of the Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham.

While Berkeley is involved in the Beckton scheme, it recently also gained permission with Peabody to build 1,750 new homes in the south of Thamesmead, at a site behind Plumstead bus garage.

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