AN EXTENSION of the Docklands Light Railway from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead is being considered to support growth in the Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Opportunity Area.

A 12-week consultation on the Opportunity Area Planning Framework closed on 10 March and included transport options to serve the area. A DLR extension is considered fundamental to a high growth scenario which could deliver over 15,000 new homes and 8,000 new jobs.

The extension would leave the DLR’s Beckton branch at Gallions Reach and cross the river Thames, running via the Thamesmead Waterfront site. The extension would complement enhanced conventional bus services and bus rapid transit.

The assumed service frequency is at least 7.5 trains per hour (tph) in peak periods, with capability for 15tph as demand increases.

An extension onwards from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood has also been considered, where interchange could be provided with the Elizabeth Line and main line services. However, this is thought to be challenging and would offer only limited connectivity benefits.

The DLR extension is being pursued in preference to an extension of London Overground from Barking Riverside, to which an extension from Barking is currently under construction. The Overground extension is thought to offer fewer connectivity benefits and would cost significantly more to build and operate.

The final Opportunity Area Planning Framework, responding to the consultation, is planned to be adopted in the summer.