TfL Submits Strategic Outline Case for DLR Extension to Thamesmead

Transport for London (TfL) has submitted a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to the UK government on how an extension of the DLR could have a transformative effect on the regeneration of Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside.

Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside are currently crucial growth areas in the UK capital and are a priority for regeneration and economic development.

To support this growth, TfL has developed the Thamesmead & Beckton Riverside Public Transport Programme, which will help deliver improvements to the area.  The newly submitted SOC outlines how the proposed construction of a DLR extension from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside is a key component of this programme.

A DLR train at Gallions Reach, London
A DLR train at Gallions Reach, London

The extension would involve constructing a new DLR station at Beckton Riverside, with a tunnel under the River Thames linked to another new station at Thamesmead.

This project would build on experience from 2009 when the DLR was extended to Woolwich Arsenal by tunnelling underneath the River Thames.

The extended line would help unlock the delivery of up to 25,000 – 30,000 new homes along its route, while improving connectivity across the river and providing alternatives to private car use.

Such growth would align with the forecasted population increases in London, with at least 800,000 additional jobs expected in the capital by 2041, creating the need for more housing.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:

“Since 2016, I’m proud to have started a record-breaking 116,000 genuinely affordable homes and, in recent years, we have also completed more homes of all types than at any time since the 1930s. But, the demand for housing in London continues to grow, and I’m determined to unlock the infrastructure needed for the capital’s growth.

“Extending the DLR would unlock huge opportunities for London. It would support tens of thousands of new homes, deliver new transport connections, and boost the economy - supporting the creation of thousands of jobs. Investment in our transport network is key to building a better, fairer, more prosperous London for all.”

Funding for the feasibility work on this proposal has been provided by a partnership of private and public sector bodies with an interest in regenerating the area.

To support further work and build a strong business case, the partnership has committed to further funding contributions, alongside requesting government contributions. In addition, 6 million GBP is being raised by TfL and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

In submitting the SOC, the involved parties are hoping to instigate a conversation with the government on the project’s future. Ideally, an affordable solution will be reached by 2025 so that construction can begin in 2028. The DLR extension would then open to customers in the early 2030s.

London's Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord, said:

“This is a unique opportunity that we should not miss out on, with policy support in place at all levels, led by the Mayor of London, to deliver transformational regeneration and up to 25,000 to 30,000 homes over 30 years. By extending the DLR from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside, we can deliver two new accessible stations, connect two major growth areas and four development sites in one go, bringing more housing, retail, leisure activities and unlocking more of London for those who live, work or visit the city.

“We’ve seen what can be achieved with investment in public transport bringing transformational change over the past few years with the Elizabeth line, the Northern line extension to Battersea and the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside. This Strategic Outline Case is the next step on the way to making this scheme a reality.”

TfL is also looking at delivering bus improvements as part of the wider plans for the redevelopment of Thamesmead.

This would include creating reliable, accessible and frequent connections to the Elizabeth line and DLR services, leveraging bus priority measures to tackle major bottlenecks.

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