Transport for London has launched a consultation into a proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway from Gallions Reach to a new station at Beckton Riverside, and then through a tunnel under the river to Thamesmead. A further section beyond Thamesmead is also possible, towards Erith.
If the new line went ahead, it would echo plans to connect Thamesmead to a rail network which go back to the 1970s, when the second phase of the Fleet Line, which became the Jubilee Line, was intended to reach the riverside development.
The latest proposal is connected with the building of up to 30,000 homes along the proposed route. TfL said alternative forms of transport, such as buses, would not provide enough capacity.
It added that the scheme would ‘build on experience from 2009 when the DLR was extended to Woolwich Arsenal, tunnelling beneath the River Thames, with housing growth following in areas including Woolwich, Canning Town, and the Royal Docks’.
Forecasts suggest that London’s population will have grown significantly by 2041, and that there will be at least an additional 800,000 jobs in the capital, which will create the need for more housing.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘Although we have started a record-breaking 116,000 plus genuinely affordable homes and completed more homes of all types since any time since the 1930s, the demand for housing in London shows no sign of slowing down.
‘Extending the DLR will unlock huge opportunities for London, support tens of thousands of new homes, deliver new transport connections, and boost the economy, supporting the creation of thousands of jobs. Enabling the infrastructure needed for the capital’s growth is key to building a better, more prosperous London for everyone.’
The aim is to agree an affordable scheme by next year, so that construction can begin in 2028. The new extension could open in the early 2030s.
The consultation runs until 18 March. The views of the public will then be considered as part of the preparation of an Outline Business Case.