Congestion on the DLR Lewisham to Bank route will be eased by the introduction of the first three-car trains.
Extended platforms have now been completed on this section of the track. It will be the first section of the DLR to take advantage of 55 new carriages costing TFL £100million.
At the launch of the new trains on 3rd March, GLA transport adviser, Kulveer Ranger said: “We know the Bank to Lewisham branch is the most congested and heavily used and this will alleviate that demand and stress in rush hour.” He added: “This carriage feels a lot more airy, the doors have more glass, it’s a smoother journey, has better braking and, of course, more capacity.”
The expansion bodes well for Lewisham, with the Canary Wharf Group saying: “History shows that increased transport capacity in east London has stimulated regeneration, investment and new jobs, so today’s announcement is good news for all of the Docklands area.”
As well as benefiting the local community the expansion will also be a benefit for the Olympics, with the DLR expected to carry up to 500,000 people a day during the games, which is more than double the current weekday average.
Jonathan Fox, Director of the DLR, said at the launch of the new carriages : “Today marks another major milestone for DLR and its passengers as our network is further enhanced and improved. With the Stratford International extension set to open later this year, we are in great shape to meet passenger demand now and over the course of the next few years.”
Lewisham resident Francesca Waite, 20, agreed: “I think it is great. Summer is unbearable on a packed DLR train, so the new carriages will be a breath of fresh air.”
Despite the positive reaction of the majority, a poster on wharf.co.uk said: “the DLR has been severely congested for at least 8 years. At the moment, the majority of trains on the Bank – Lewisham branch are still two car. There only seems to be one three car train running. And lets not get started on the frequency of trains – during the rush hour the frequency of trains has actually decreased. Overall the DLR runs an extremely poor service and I fail to see why it is getting such praise.”
While at present only the Bank to Lewisham branch of the line has three car trains, the rest of the DLR network will be benefiting from the new trains over the coming year.