Next Stop Thamesmead

Join Abena’s Campaign to extend the DLR to Thamesmead

Abena’s campaign

For too long people in Thamesmead have suffered from poor transport links – making it harder to access jobs and opportunities across London. There is now substantial development happening in Thamesmead – with tens of thousands of homes planned over coming years. It is essential that this development is accompanied by proper infrastructure – to benefit people already living in Thamesmead and surrounding areas, and those who will be moving here in the future.,

This is why I started the #NextStopThamesmead Campaign. I believe the residents of Erith and Thamesmead deserve the benefits of transport connectivity that many others across London already enjoy. Extending the DLR to Thamesmead would unlock significant new housing on both sides of the river and would open up access to work and educational opportunities for our constituency.

Since I was elected to Parliament in 2019, I have been campaigning to make this happen – raising it in Parliament, in the media and growing support among constituents, stakeholders and beyond.

Now is the time for the Government to commit to this project.

Campaign updates

January 2020 - My Maiden Speech

This campaign has been a passion of mine for a long time now. Having spoken to constituents up and down Thamesmeand and beyond, I know how much this campaign means to everyone and how much this change could improve so many lives. 

In my Maiden speech in Parliament, I spoke about how much this change is needed and my commitment to campaign with local people to make it happen. I said: 

“There is one thing that I admit my constituency is sadly lacking; it contains one of the only parts of London without a train station. Simply put, that must change. I will be campaigning with local people to ensure that Thamesmead is put well and truly on the transport map.”

You can watch my Maiden speech in full here which took place on 29th January 2020:  

Follow this link to read my speech also: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-01-29/debates/8FF4A774-F2B6-4BCA-B5A8-D304E5B33FBB/Homelessness#contribution-37A9A328-CF4D-4DFE-A571-EF454017AE01

December 2021 - Making the case for the DLR Extension on BBC Politics London

In December 2021, I went on BBC Politics London to make the case for the DLR extension to Erith & Thamesmead and about how we need to improve links to boroughs that have continually been left behind. 

In their report, they highlighted the negative impact that the lack of transport links is having on residents in Thamesmead. They followed Janet White, a resident of Thamesmead, who has to take a lengthy every day because there is no tube station or overground station nearby. 

Here is their report: 

I spoke afterward about the great economic benefits and job opportunities the extension would bring and how the whole of London would benefit:

https://twitter.com/BBCLondonNews/status/1469974583382093825?s=20

February 2022 - Pressing the Transport Minister to take action

On February 3rd 2022, I raised the DLR extension directly with the Wendy Morton MP, the then Minister of State for Transport. I asked her: 

“Thamesmead in my constituency needs levelling up. It has some of the worst public transport links in the capital. There are ambitious plans to extend the docklands light railway to Thamesmead, which are supported by Greenwich and Newham councils and Transport for London. Will the Minister look favourably at these proposals when they are submitted to the Government, and provide the necessary funding to finally put Thamesmead on the transport map?”

The Minister responded by saying they were exploring the opportunity but she would not confirm if the extension would happen: 

“With regard to extending the DLR, the scale of the opportunity from the potential options at Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside is being explored and the Government and Homes England are working together with the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to do this.”

You can read about my question and watch the video here: 

https://twitter.com/853london/status/1490231587258183681

May 2022 - Transport Speech in Parliament outlining the "Next Stop Thamesmead" Campaign

In May 2022, I made a speech in the House of Commons and spoke on the many Transport issues that need addressing in Erith and Thamesmead. I spoke on the newly introduced Crossrail to Abbey Wood, the lack of Electric Vehicle Charging points, and the important issue of getting bus routes right for the people they serve. Furthermore, I outlined my “Next Stop Thamesmead Campaign”. In this speech I said: 

My “Next Stop Thamesmead” campaign is about finally putting Thamesmead on the transport map. I am backing plans, supported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Newham Council, TfL and Peabody, to extend the DLR from Gallions Reach, in Newham, over the river to Thamesmead. That proposal would unlock significant new housing on both sides of the river. Crucially, it would also increase connectivity for existing residents of Thamesmead and nearby areas.

 

When I raised this issue with the Minister in February, she said that work was ongoing with Homes England to assess the potential options. I would therefore be grateful if she could update me on that work. My constituents deserve the benefits of transport connectivity that many others across London already enjoy. Now is the time for the Government to commit to that project, back it with proper funding and get building the DLR extension to Thamesmead.

You can watch a clip of my speech here: 

June 2022 - Meeting the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Peabody and leaders from Greenwich and Newham Council

In June 2022, I met with the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Peabody and leaders from Greenwich and Newham Council for a tour of the key sites in Thamesmead and the proposed location for the DLR station.

It was great to have stakeholders come together to discuss the next steps. 

May 2023 - Letter to Secretary of State for Transport and briefing from Transport for London on the DLR to Thamesmead

This month, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to speed up plans to extend the DLR to Thamesmead. I told the Secretary of State of my campaign over recent years to make this happen and how I have only ever heard warm words from an ever-growing cast list of transport ministers. I made clear that while we are told the DLR is always on the way, it somehow never arrives.

We have ambitious plans to put Thamesmead on the transport map, which are supported by local authorities, Transport for London (TfL), local businesses and community organisations, and local people. The opportunities for local economic growth are plain to see and the chance to ‘level up’ this part of London is real. 

I urged the Secretary of State to expedite the process to deliver the DLR to Thamesmead.

We have waited long enough. Now is the time for action.

Alongside the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, I was briefed by TfL on their progress for Housing and Transport developments in Thamesmead. We spoke after this briefing on the Next Stop Thamesmead Campaign. 

Furthermore, I have been using Written Questions this month to challenge Government Ministers to push for the DLR extension and to make statements on this project to update the people of Thamesmead on its progress. You can find my questions using the following link: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions. 

You see one of my questions here with the answer from the Minister: 

 

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