Greenwich could see £23m invested into rapid transit bus network

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Thamesmead could see £23million being invested into local buses under plans outlined in this year’s Autumn Statement.

The Government revealed plans on Wednesday to fund a rapid transit bus network in Thamesmead.

The news comes as part of the Docklands 2.0 project, revealed in July by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, which could see “tens of thousands” of homes being added around the River Thames.

The scheme reportedly looks to improve transport links from east to west in the capital, while also transforming areas such as Charlton Riverside and Thamesmead in Greenwich as well as Beckton and Silvertown in Newham.

HM Treasury documents on this year’s Autumn Statement said: “Subject to business case approval, the Government will also provide £23million for a bus network to unlock housing in the ‘Docklands 2.0’ as part of the £150million allocation to London from the Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land Fund.”

A transport strategy prepared by Transport for London (TfL) in December 2020 shows plans to link areas of Thamesmead such as the town centre and the Moorings to the Elizabeth line stations in Woolwich and Abbey Wood. The documents said that the new service, alongside the Elizabeth line, would provide 8,000 homes and 5,500 jobs to the area.

TfL has also outlined plans to extend the DLR from Gallions Reach to Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead after sending a business case to the Government in June.

But no mention of the planned extension was included in this year’s Autumn Statement. The transport authority has claimed the project would allow for up to 30,000 new homes to be built across Greenwich and Newham.

A Peabody spokesperson said the company planned on building up to 2,800 new homes in South Thamesmead, with the housing association reportedly owning 65 per cent of the land in the area.

John Lewis, Peabody’s executive director in Thamesmead, said there was potential for 15,000 new homes in Thamesmead, and that SE28 is the only postcode in London without a rail or Tube station.

Rachel McLean, chief finance officer at TfL, said the transport authority welcomed the extra funding for the bus network, but was disappointed the Government had not yet confirmed its share of capital investment for TfL. She said investment was needed to fund critical projects such as manufacturing the new fleet of Piccadilly line trains.

(Picture: PA)

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