DLR Passengers to see quicker, easier and more frequent journeys as services are boosted across the network

02 May 2023

Further DLR timetable changes will be introduced from Monday 15 May, enabling customers to benefit from quicker, easier and more comfortable journeys across the DLR network. These improvements build on the timetable changes that were made in September last year designed to help people access housing, employment and leisure opportunities more easily across the Docklands and east London. 

Since the opening of the Elizabeth line last May, and with people travelling to the office and leisure activities more frequently, the way customers use the DLR has changed. These new timetables will help ensure there are more trains available where people need them.    

The new timetable will mean more frequent services on all routes, especially at peak times, helping to reduce waiting times as well as providing better connections with the Elizabeth line at Canary Wharf, Custom House and Stratford. Peak services will run half an hour longer on all routes in both the morning and evening peaks with customers benefiting from more frequent services and reduced waiting during these times. The Elizabeth line will also have a new timetable introduced in May, which will increase peak time services for customers and reduce journey times. 

In response to growing customer demand, additional services are being introduced such as direct Stratford to Lewisham trains during the evening peak for the first time. Evening frequencies between Canning Town and Beckton will also be doubled, with Stratford to Canary Wharf services 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 means customers on all routes will benefit from more frequent services and reduced waiting times during peak times. The morning peak service will end at 10:00 instead of 09:30, and the evening peak service will end at 19:30 instead of 19:00.  
  • Direct Stratford-Lewisham services during the evening peak will be introduced for the first time. Customers will benefit from the extension of 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 means a service every two to four minutes between Canary Wharf and Lewisham instead of every four minutes, and direct services between Stratford and Lewisham (without changing trains at Canary Wharf) every eight minutes.  
  • Frequencies between Canning Town and Beckton on Monday to Saturday evenings will be doubled. In September, a shuttle service between Canning Town and Beckton (in addition to the existing Tower Gateway to Beckton services) was introduced, which doubled the frequency during the peaks and daytime off peak. With the new timetable, these services will continue into the evening until 23:30 on weekdays (instead of 19:30) and 22:00 on Saturdays (instead of 19:30). This means during these times trains will run every five minutes rather than every 10 minutes between Canning Town and Beckton, halving waiting times for customers (including those interchanging to/from the Elizabeth line at Custom House). There is no change to service levels on Sundays.  
  • Frequencies doubled between Stratford and Canary Wharf on Saturday evenings. Customers using stations between Stratford and Canary Wharf on Saturday evenings will wait substantially less time for a train, with trains every five minutes (rather than 10) until 22:00 rather than until 19:30.  

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." 

This is the next step in a programme of enhancements for the DLR. New modern, walk-through, air-conditioned DLR trains are currently being tested on the network and are due to enter service from 2024. These will provide further significant improvements to waiting times, crowding and customer experience as they allow   longer and more frequent trains to operate, as well as supporting housing growth and economic redevelopment across the Docklands and east London. 

Full details of the timetable changes can be found at tfl.gov.uk/modes/dlr/improving-the-dlr. Customers can also plan journeys using the new timetables using the TfL Go app or TfL Journey Planner.

Notes to editors

  • All routes will see some form of frequency increase with no reductions in service at any time. These changes, alongside Elizabeth line services and recent upgrades at Bank Tube station, will deliver a significant overall improvement for customers, with faster journeys across the Docklands and London as a whole. 
  • There is no change to train lengths as part of this timetable change. 
  • TfL will monitor the impact of these changes, including by reviewing customer and staff feedback, to ensure it is delivering as intended for our customers. 

A new Elizabeth line timetable will be introduced from Sunday 21 May providing more peak time trains between Paddington and Whitechapel and also Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood. There will also be improved connections to Heathrow Airport with more trains running to the airport all day, and trains from Shenfield directly to Heathrow for the first time.