East London’s Royal Docks could be getting a massive £2 billion makeover

One thing London is missing: places to hang out and relax near a large body of water. The Thames is massive, so why not be more like Copenhagen and make the most of it? Apparently, Sadiq Khan had the same thought. He’s just launched a plan to bring the Royal Docks in east London back to life with a £2 billion makeover.

At the moment, you’re probably only likely to head to the Royal Docks if you’re going to London City Airport, the ExCeL Centre or The Cause nightclub. But it could soon become one of London’s most desirable waterside neighbourhoods. Khan has published a plan to build more than 36,000 new homes and create more than 55,000 new jobs in the riverfront area east of Canary Wharf

After falling into decline in the ’60s and ’70s, much of the area is currently derelict. The docklands were turned further into a ‘ghost town’ after a scheme by former mayor Boris Johnson to attract Asian businesses to the area failed and left many blocks standing empty. 

Included in the £2 billion five-year plan are a new cycling and pedestrian bridge over the Royal Victoria Dock to link with the Elizabeth line station at Custom House, and building a ‘thriving new high street’ along Silvertown Way. Sadiq Khan also hopes that the docks will be the new home for City Hall. 

‘Once the beating heart of global trade, today the Royal Docks is re-emerging as one of the country’s leading areas of opportunity, investment, and innovation,’ Khan said. 

‘Our new five-year plan sets out the vision for unlocking the full potential of this area with a multi-billion-pound regeneration programme that will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and create a new economic powerhouse for the capital.’

The Royal Dock regeneration is part of a wider plan to bring new life into the far reaches of east London. There are plans to extend the DLR to Thamesmead, and the Silvertown tunnel, which will connect Silvertown and Greenwich under the Thames, finally has an opening date.

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