DLR to Belvedere link with Southeastern pushed by Bexley Council

Bexley Council’s new plan for future development shows plans remain to extend the DLR to Belvedere alongside thousands of new homes.

The authority’s Local Plan adopted last week states land around Belvedere station such as Asda supermarket – and its large 550-space car park – are suitable for mixed-use development accommodating 460 homes.

Courtesy Google. Aerial view of Belvedere Asda

Included within the report are details of future changes: “Create a sense of arrival by establishing a new pedestrianised high street from Belvedere station with main town centre uses on the ground floor and residential accommodation above”.

Belvedere is projected to be a major growth area with 8,000 homes in Bexley Council’s Growth Strategy and a number of other proposals already in planning. One is at the former gasholder site featuring 563 homes and was covered here.

Transport improvements for thousands of new homes around station

A further 1,250 homes are being prepared at another site in the town.

DLR extension

In recent weeks TfL, Greenwich and Newham councils have decided to push on with extending the DLR though estimated costs are high and funding sources remain unconfirmed.

DLR plan to Thamesmead

Bexley appear not to be working closely with Greenwich, Newham and TfL and any extension to Belvedere would appear to be many, many years away. With Thamesmead being around 2033 at the earliest, Belvedere would be after that.

It’d also not be very fast before it reaches areas such as Canning Town. A journey would mean a stop or two in Thamesmead, crossing the Thames then a new stop in Beckton on a circulatory route before joining the existing Beckton branch. Quicker to go to Abbey Wood and change to the Elizabeth line or Woolwich Arsenal and the DLR.

No link to Abbey Wood station

An easier and quicker improvement would be to increase existing rail services through the town. Thameslink trains do not call while Southeastern services have been cut.

Thameslink also use shorter 8-car trains while Southeastern have barely ever run full 12-car trains.

Belvedere station

In the near to mid-term longer trains will not be needed, though in the long term tens of thousands and 8,000 new homes could be built in Belvedere alone. Bexley Council also plan thousands of homes at Erith and other areas north of the borough.

Another option featured in the Local Plan is a route on any Rapid Transit Bus scheme running through Thamesmead from Abbey Wood to Woolwich. This has the advantage of being far cheaper.

Belvedere station

Slap some branding on existing routes (rename them too of course), install some slightly different bus stops and job done. A fair bit of cheap PR. Is it transformative though?





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    3 thoughts on “DLR to Belvedere link with Southeastern pushed by Bexley Council

    • we need a short tram network servicing Thamesmead abbey wood and belvedere

    • I’d agree a tram would work better than the DLR and LO for Thamesmead and surrounding areas. Crucially it can run at street level unlike the DLR.

      Thamesmead, Plumstead, Woolwich, Erith and Belvedere all have wide roads suitable for such a network. Dual carriageways a plenty across Thamesmead heading to Erith in one direction and in the other to Woolwich via the one-way system at Plumstead bus garage and Plumstead Road to the Elizabeth line. Also the wide road at Harrow Manorway to link south to Abbey Wood station.

      Then north of the Thames it could head to Barking station which offers so much more in terms of connections (Tube lines, London Overground etc) than the Beckton branch of the DLR.

      The Bus Transit is an attempt to do it on the cheap – and could well be very good. However it wouldn’t cross the Thames.

      Not that this matters. Peabody and Greenwich/Newham/Bexley seem to want the DLR even though its far more restrictive south of the Thames (it will need to be in tunnels or elevated) and north it doesn’t really go anywhere of interest (there’s relatively little at Beckton compared to Barking) or with good connections to other forms of transport.

    • Cross-river rail plans are a bit rubbish if they do not connect to Abbey Wood one side of the river or Barking the other. From what I can see the latest DLR proposal (not including Bexley’s ideas) would mean missing out on connections to Southeastern, Thameslink, Elizabeth line at Abbey Wood and c2c rail, London Overground, Hammersmith & City line, and the District line at Barking.

      DLR to Thamesmead doesn’t link with very much whatsoever under the plans TfL are pushing. Bexley’s plan would alleviate that but Belvedere less useful than Abbey Wood for Elizabeth line services.

      Given DLR to Thamesmead is a sort of halfway-house fudge its hard to be enthusiastic about it. Especially when costed at near £1.5bn


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