Docklands Light Railway sees strong recovery according to TfL

The latest transport passenger figures are out and in the Period 1 of this financial year sees all forms of London rail under Transport for London operating seeing decent numbers.

Compared to 2019 levels, the DLR is now at 92 per cent which compares with TfL’s budget expectations of 80 per cent this year.

Of course, any individual period sees fluctuations owing to the timing of weekends, bank holidays, strikes and other issues but the numbers will be welcome.

Brunel Street Works viewed from Canning Town station DLR platform

They’re also strong figures given the Elizabeth line is now fully operating and operates from many areas where the DLR is situated and sees many passengers, including Woolwich, Stratford and the City.

Transport for London had always expected a fall in DLR passengers even before the pandemic once the Elizabeth line opened, so it could be argued it’s at or about the level expected long before the pandemic.

Approved in 2019. Now rising in Canning Town

To those who use the network though this may not seem a great surprise. Travel along pretty much any branch and mass development is evident.

I won’t list everywhere, but just yesterday I covered work starting on Woolwich leisure centre with 482 homes directly beside Woolwich Arsenal DLR station. There’s many, many others in Woolwich too closer to the DLR than the Elizabeth line.

482 homes beside Woolwich Arsenal station

As great as the Elizabeth line can be, it’s simply handier sometimes on the DLR not only if heading to certain destinations (Stratford for example is direct with no change) but also saves a walk along cramped, narrow pavements and crossing a dual carriageway that Woolwich station presents heading from the south.

Cross the Thames and there’s many sites seeing thousands of new homes along the branch at North Woolwich and Silvertown:

Ballymore development Royal Docks
Render from West Silvertown DLR station of 900 homes almost complete at Deanston Wharf

Canning Town is seeing a 32-floor tower rise as well as blocks directly opposite the station entrance.

These are the next phases of Hallsville Quarter.

View from DLR platform

Heading up to Stratford?

Well, there’s a major development beside West Ham station that will total 3,800 homes and then plenty more in Stratford, including a tower and 380 homes to the north beside Stratford International station.

New builds near station

And these are but a fraction of what’s happening now, let alone what is proposed. The Beckton branch has new homes in Beckton itself and near Royal Victoria station.

Lewisham of course is seeing vast changes with many homes due to complete at Lewisham Central before the year is out.

Station beside new development including homes, shops and cinema

Greenwich? Well, plenty of plans keep coming in there too.

And while the Department for Transport seek rail cuts (Greenwich for example saw Southeastern Metro services halved in December 2022), TfL are investing in new stock to capitalise on growth.

Granted, much funding there comes from another branch of Government related to Housing.

Perhaps if rail was in the hands of another body it too could seek housing funds to help improve transportation, but Southeastern and network Rail rarely seem aware of major developments in the area.

Looking towards Lewisham towers from Elverson Road DLR station

New DLR trains are due to enter service before April 2024, and the most recent TfL board meeting showed 12 are now complete with testing underway.



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J Smith

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.

    2 thoughts on “Docklands Light Railway sees strong recovery according to TfL

    • Too much concentration on the high rise developments most of which are unaffordable to those actually on the housing list, and not enough on the extra green spaces required for the mental health and enjoyable living of all residents here already. We cannot continue to rely on the public and royal parks of generations past, when they really thought about well being. THese were designed for the population levels of the time. What are we doing for these massive influxes of people, even if many of absentee investors???

    • Also a development at Gallions Reach on a Beckton branch where several buildings are being finished in the coming months and new being build at the waterfront.


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