Elizabeth line: Fantastic passenger growth at Woolwich and Abbey Wood

Figures from Transport for London show strong growth in passengers using the service at Abbey Wood and Woolwich between the first full month in June 2022 and February 2023.

A Freedom of Information request shows that during the last month – April 2022 – before services begun that passenger numbers were 215,346.

Services began in late May, and the first full month in June saw 395,832 passenger tap in or out.

Abbey Wood station

By February 2023 that was up to 607,308. While passenger numbers have grown across the country since 2022, that’s more than three times the number of passengers compared to 181,644 in February 2022 when the station was service by Southeastern and Thameslink.

It’s even more impressive when considering that many new homes rising nearby are not yet occupied.

New homes in Abbey Wood

Move one stop down to Woolwich and the first full month in June 2022 saw 534,020 passengers. By February this year it had increased to 816,959.

Woolwich is a hotbed of development and seen a number of developments occupied recently, with many, many more to come.

New block in the Arsenal seen in summer 2022 before completion

In recent months many other sites in Woolwich have seen new housing approved, while previously approved plots continue to be built.

Woolwich towers rising

Plumstead and West Thamesmead sit between both stations and have around 2,600 homes under construction at this very moment.

That’s nearly 2,000 near the bus garage site named Lombard Square (numbers were increased last month), 333 homes at a former care home to the north and 294 homes at a former college site.

Housing now almost totals 2,000 at Lombard Square

While Plumstead station is closer to some plots, a combination of Southeastern cutting services and Greenwich Council failing to improve active travel links between new homes and housing despite TfL requests will ensure many residents head to the Elizabeth line.

As for Abbey Wood, housing plans are a little behind. Movement at one site with plans for 282 homes seems to be quiet, while Peabody sit on numerous plots for years within walking distance of the station while failing to build.


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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    9 thoughts on “Elizabeth line: Fantastic passenger growth at Woolwich and Abbey Wood

    • your focus here is that passenger growth is mainly from Woolwich and Abbery Wood themselves, fair enough but would be interesting to know how many are passengers from further afield eg Charlton, Shooters Hill, Welling, Eltham etc who are working out it’s a better way of getting to the West End via Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. Who put in the FoI by the way?

    • It’s just a shame that the car park provision at Abbey Wood is so limited! Not sure what they were thinking but it’s just meant the parking on surrounding roads is really bad. There has to be a balance between not wanting people to use their cars but also realising that MANY people are driving from surrounding areas to ‘park and ride’ – even at the weekends. Do you know of any plans to sort this out? Thanks!

    • Took the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood to Southall just for the heck of it. Was amazed at the brilliant service. Was impressed with the cleanliness of the coaches, the speed, timing etc.

    • Not sure I’d call it fantastic. I get on at Woolwich and 9 times out of 10, there’s nowhere to sit. By the time you leave custom house, you’re in people’s armpits. To make things worse, the train frequency is less than when the service started with a regular delay at canary wharf.

      • The frequency is increasing again in May. It’s a victim of its own success. Time and again we see success but the Treasury and DfT fail to invest in future projects or enact cuts elsewhere such as we see now with Southeastern

    • If it’s counting passengers tapping in does this not count passengers changing from Dartford etc?

      The train is often standing room only when it leaves abbey wood. In the evening I’ve stopped using it as the southeastern/Thameslink services just don’t line up so services are packed.

    • It was bound to do well, but based on the fact that Southeastern have basically given up any semblance of running a railway with their new timetable it’s no wonder people have switched to the Elizabeth line

    • Hopefully a strong case in favour of extending Elizabthe line to Belevedere, Erith and so on in the future.
      There is a real growth oportunity in terms of house building in this areas and so close to central London now.

      • Yep. Will need a complete change of thinking from govt whoever is in charge though. At the moment cuts are the only agenda despite massive growth in population


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