The DLR has come a long way since its birth almost 21 years ago. What started off as a relatively modest initiative for getting commuters into and out of the newly regenerated Docklands area has blossomed into a major transport backbone for parts of East London.
And yet, despite trundling through its teenage years without too much adolescent drama, it seems that the DLR is experiencing delayed growing pains as it enters its twenties. The system that was setting the standard for reliability and punctuality a few years ago seems to have been somewhat ‘off the pace’ over the last year or so, with reports of increased journey times, weekend engineering works overrunning by an entire week, and even unexpectedly unstaffed trains!
On top of this, the DLR network is undergoing major ‘improvements’ – a term which, in our experience, is often used as a euphemism for ‘irritating disruptions’. Right now, the DLR is currently being ‘improved’ by:
All this work has had a major impact on the services that are provided by the DLR, as demonstrated by a series of modified service maps on the London Connections blog. Even the operators’ own glossy leaflet on the disruptions struggles to hide the inherent difficulty in getting from A to B on the DLR these days.
Looking on the positive side, these works do seem to be proactive moves on the part of DLR strategists, and should hopefully ensure that the system can handle increasing passenger numbers. Eventually.
Photo by Dave.