A South London town with no train or Tube stations may soon see the DLR being extended to it, but locals are saying they would rather the money was spent on “more buses”.

West Thamesmead in Greenwich borough stands as one of the only areas in London with no access to any train, Tube or DLR stations.

However, Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement on Friday that progress has been made to deliver new transport links and homes to the area.

A TfL spokesperson said that a business case had been sent to Government by the transport authority and its partners in the scheme, including Greenwich and Newham councils.

The plans would see the DLR being extended  from Gallions Reach to serve two new stations at Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead, based in Newham and Greenwich respectively.

News Shopper: Thamesmead centreThamesmead centre

The scheme would also reportedly provide the opportunity for up to 30,000 new homes across the two boroughs, half of which would be in Thamesmead.

Lauren Roberts-O’Neill, 26, has lived in Thamesmead for three years.

Since moving to the area, the local has noticed that most residents only travel to nearby town centres such as Bexleyheath or Woolwich, and feel they don’t want the transport links needed to go further distances.

Ms Roberts-O’Neill told the LDRS: “The thing that people use most around here is buses. Most people go only around the corner.”

She added: “If anything, we need more buses. I would say that, because there’s so many schoolchildren around here. It’s really busy. I’d rather TfL looked at buses than another train.”

A TfL spokesperson said in a statement that the improvements would also include a new bus transit scheme connecting Woolwich to Abbey Wood via Thamesmead.

They said the move was being done to tackle “major bottlenecks” in the area and provide more reliable and frequent connections to the Elizabeth line.

News Shopper: A general view of Thamesmead centre in east London, Britain 09 June 2023. Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon.

Lisa Anderson, 42, moved to Thamesmead four years ago. She said the number of schoolchildren in the area has been “a lot to put up with” for local shopkeepers.

Ms Anderson told the LDRS: “It’s nice during the day when the kids are in school. As soon as they come out, they’re like hooligans.”

Having lived in Plumstead and Crayford too, the local said she was unsure about how the DLR extension would be implemented practically in Thamesmead.

She said she also finds it hard to imagine the extra 30,000 homes that could be built across the extension between Greenwich and Newham boroughs.

She said: “I don’t see how they’re going to bring it here… The thing is, Abbey Wood is only a bus ride away, it’s only up a few stops so it’s sort of here [already].”

However, some residents praised the possibility of a new transport link in the area. Martin Feeney, 70, has been the manager of the Cutty Sark pub since 2009.

He said that while the bus service in the area was good, the potential DLR extension would benefit the town even more so.

Mr Feeney told the LDRS: “It would be fantastic. I think the DLR would give you just another link to cross the water, go through Woolwich. It depends on where it would be run from but I think it would be good for the area… It would bring a lot of people in. We kind of lost a generation here. The youngsters have moved out and gotten married.”

The pub manager said that businesses in the area have struggled since Covid, with many shops being left closed.

He said while support from the Government and local council are appreciated, trade for the pub is still 35 per cent lower than it was before the pandemic.

He said: “The culture has definitely changed. The town centre, as you can see, a lot of the shops are closed. Covid was the biggest change for us.

"A lot of the older customers that we had passed away and people don’t come out anymore… The whole place is clean and beautiful as you can see, but maybe it needs some new blood or something.”

The TfL spokesperson said that the project would support growth across the country with the creation of up 10,000 new jobs.

They also said construction for the scheme is hoped to begin in 2028, with the extension ready to open in the early 2030s.

London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord, said the new homes in the plans would be delivered in the next 30 years if the proposal were to go ahead.

Mr Lord added that the business case sent to Government was the next step into making the scheme “a reality”.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said in a statement that he was determined to unlock the infrastructure needed for the capital’s growth.

The Mayor said: “Extending the DLR would unlock huge opportunities for London. It would support tens of thousands of new homes, deliver new transport connections, and boost the economy – supporting the creation of thousands of jobs.

"Investment in our transport network is key to building a better, fairer, more prosperous London for all.”

Labour Councillor Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport for Greenwich Council, told the LDRS: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich has seen firsthand how high quality transport networks can transform communities, with the Elizabeth line in Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

"The DLR extension would bring around 15,000 new homes to Thamesmead, meaning more people visiting and supporting our local businesses.”

She added: “Thamesmead is the only postcode area without access to direct train connections to London, so this extension will play an essential part in making it easier and more convenient for people to travel to jobs across the capital.

"It will also play a major role in cutting carbon emissions and improving air quality, by helping people to be less reliant on their cars.”