A DLR extension to Thamesmead is one step closer, after TfL submitted proposals for a route that would link Gallions Reach with the poorly-served south London town, via a new station at Beckton Riverside.
Thamesmead — as we've previously bemoaned — is a part of London sorely lacking in transport options, and drew the short straw as far as rail links are concerned i.e. it has none. Various Thameslink stations — including one on the Jubilee line — have been mooted and summarily shelved, but since December 2020, TfL has been seriously considering a link up with the DLR line on the north side of the river — and as of today (16 June) it's looking likelier that'll happen, because it's now submitted its plans to the government.
The building of new housing is key to TfL's proposal; it claims up to 25,000-30,000 new homes could be 'unlocked' along the extension route, and is already working with Thamesmead Waterfront (a joint venture between Peabody and Lendlease), abrdn (formerly Aberdeen Standard Investments) and St William (a Berkeley Group company) as well as the Greenwich and Newham councils.
As well as the two new DLR stations at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead, the extension would feature a tunnel beneath the Thames (last done on the DLR with the Woolwich Arsenal extension in 2009), which would become the most easterly Thames crossing in Greater London.
Bus routes to and from Thamesmead would undergo improvements too, with new lanes between Woolwich and Abbey Wood, via Thamesmead.
As for a timeline on all this? TfL says construction of the extension could begin as early as 2028, with opening mooted for the early 2030s. Finally, FINALLY, Thamesmead might get its place in the sun.
These are exciting times for the DLR; brand new trains are currently being tested on the line, with the entire fleet expected to be running by 2026.