Docklands light railway in London with Canary Wharf in the background, via Istock

DLR timetable change set to deliver more frequent services across network

The DLR is set to welcome further timetable changes that will be introduced from Monday 15th May, providing passengers with enhanced journey times through a maximisation of capacity across the network.

This comes as the next step in a programme of enhancements, which will also deliver modernised, walk-through, air-conditioned DLR trains, scheduled to enter services from 2024.

The improvements will build upon timetable changes from last year in September, which afforded people with help to access housing, employment and leisure opportunities more easily across the Docklands and east London.

Following the long-awaited opening of the Elizabeth line last May and the opening up of offices following easing of pandemic restrictions last year, the new timetable will ensure that the DLR services can meet the availability demands of passengers.

Changes implemented from the new timetable will result in more frequent services across all routes, especially whilst at peak times, thus reducing waiting times and providing enhanced connections with the Elizabeth line at Canary Wharf, Custom House and Stratford. Peak services will also run for an extra half an hour on all routes in both the morning and evening.

Additional services are being introduced to meet the passenger demands, including direct Stratford to Lewisham trains during the evening peak for the first time. The evening frequencies between Canning Town and Beckton will also be doubled, accompanied by Stratford to Canary Wharf services being doubled on Saturday nights.  

The main changes include: 

  • Peak service levels will run half an hour longer on all routes in both morning and evening peaks. This will result in customers across all routes benefitting from enhanced frequency to services and reduced waiting times across peak journeys.
  • Direct Stratford-Lewisham services during the evening peak will be introduced for the first time. Passengers are set to benefit from an extension to every other Stratford to Canary Wharf service to/from Lewisham during the evening peak, cutting waiting times for customers between Canary Wharf and Lewisham. This will deliver a service every two to four minutes between Canary Wharf and Lewisham instead of every four minutes, and direct services between Stratford and Lewisham.
  • Frequencies between Canning Town and Beckton on Monday to Saturday evenings will be doubled. The shuttle service between Canning Town and Beckton, introduced last September, successfully doubled the frequency during the peaks and daytime off peak. The new timetable will continue into the evening until 23:30 on weekdays (instead of 19:30) and 22:00 on Saturdays (instead of 19:30).
  • Frequencies doubled between Stratford and Canary Wharf on Saturday evenings. Passengers using stations between Stratford and Canary Wharf on Saturday evenings will benefit from substantially reduced waiting times, with trains arriving every five minutes, instead of 10.

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport said:

“After some incredibly challenging years, ridership on the Tube and DLR is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels, and I am pleased that changes coming in to the DLR timetable in May will mean people travelling around east London will now benefit from additional services and quicker, easier, more frequent journeys. 

“With the entire DLR fleet also being updated over the coming years, this is just one of the ways the Mayor and TfL are continuing to improve London’s world-class public transport network, which is key for to building a better, more efficient London for everyone.”

Tom Page, TfL’s General Manager for the DLR, said:

“It’s an exciting time for DLR as we continue to see strong ridership and have now begun testing of the new trains that will transform journeys for millions of customers every year. This latest timetable change builds on last September’s changes to help ensure we have capacity where it’s needed the most. These changes will deliver an improvement for customers with quicker, easier and more comfortable journeys.”

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