Royal Docks Corridor – London

London Borough of Newham / GLA Royal Docks Team

Alan Baxters / JCLA / Studio Dekka

5th Studio has been working for a partnership of Newham Borough Council and the GLA’s Royal Docks Team, on proposals to transform the highways layout and street environment along Silvertown Way and North Woolwich Road.

The current highways layout is the legacy of roads engineered to deal with the height of traffic from the docks, and the London Docklands Development Corporation’s car-centric planning for future regeneration. These roads are now the spine that connects existing communities, completed and future mixed-use development sites. Unfortunately, the poor-quality environment and low levels of pedestrian and cyclist comfort mean the spaces here are poorly used.

The proposals that have been developed look to completely transform this environment, helping to connect the growing residential and business community in this area. Our proposed interventions aim to create people-friendly streets by reducing traffic volumes and speeds, and as a result making it easier, safer, and more convenient to get around by foot, bike, and public transport.

Alongside linear movement along the corridor, the scheme will provide wider pavements, better crossings and new public spaces, stitching the corridor into the surrounding development. 5th Studio has worked with JCLA to ensure that planting strategies are included to support sustainable urban drainage and to set the ambition for high levels of urban greening. Studio Dekka have developed lighting proposals for public spaces, recognising that the corridor is a 24-hour environment in which lighting will be key to supporting the community’s safety.

It is hoped that these ambitions would benefit the whole area, making the corridor more enjoyable, supporting recreational and utility routes, encouraging residents and visitors to spend more time in the area, and improving the local air quality and climate resilience.

The proposals were taken to public consultation in the summer of 2021. Due to the scale of the scheme, and to minimise disruption for the local community, the works will be delivered in phases from late 2021 until summer 2024. This is subject to all the necessary approvals and the public consultation response.

The Royal Docks Corridor scheme includes Silvertown Way and the section of North Woolwich Road up to Connaught Bridge, and is approximately 3km long. To help describe the proposals and to understand the specific typologies along its length, the scheme has been divided into four character areas:

  • Character Area 1 - Canning Town (from Canning Town Station up to Nelson St)
  • Character Area 2 - Silvertown Way Viaduct (from Nelson St up to Britannia Gate)
  • Character Area 3 - Britannia Village (from Britannia Gate up to Admiralty Ave)
  • Character Area 4 - New Neighbourhoods (from Admiralty Ave up to Connaught Bridge)

CA2 - Existing view looking south along Silvertown Way, opposite Tidal Basin Road - An example of where pedestrian routes are non-continuous, with footways closed due to a lack of safe crossings or adequate pavement width

CA3 - Existing view looking east along North Woolwich Road, near West Silvertown DLR - The combined impact of the DLR viaduct and the width of North Woolwich Road creates an infrastructural no man's land, which surrounding developments turn their backs to

CA1 - Silvertown Way, section between the junctions with Hallsville Road and Brunel Street, looking south

Character Area 1 - Canning Town

Key proposed changes in this location include:

  • Wider pavements to create more space for pedestrians, and to accommodate street furniture such as benches and cycle stands, and outdoor seating areas
  • A new segregated cycle lane with new planting and street trees next to the road to create more distance between drivers and cyclists/ pedestrians
  • A new pedestrian crossing, south of Hallsville Road

CA2 - Silvertown Way, on the viaduct structure looking south towards Tidal Basin Road

Character Area 2 - Silvertown Way Viaduct

Key proposed changes at this location include:

  • The road width reduced, with one lane of traffic in each direction
  • Improved pavements with new high quality paving materials
  • New cycle lanes segregated from the road, with large planters where possible to create a green buffer
  • A new pedestrian and cycle crossing at the junction with Tidal Basin Road
  • The previously inaccessible pavement on the south/west side of the road will be widened and opened for pedestrians to use
  • Opportunities for community-led public art, new planting in raised planters, and low-level planting in some locations

CA3 - North Woolwich Road looking east towards Oasis Academy, near West Silvertown Station

Character Area 3 - Britannia Village

Key proposed changes at this location include:

  • The road width reduced, with one lane of traffic in each direction
  • An improved pedestrian crossing near the new Oasis Academy
  • New segregated cycle lanes in both directions
  • Low level planted areas with sustainable drainage systems to collect run-off rainwater into the raingardens
  • New trees planted where possible and subject to utilities underground
  • Opportunities for outdoor activities under the DLR viaduct structure
  • Specific areas for new seating and street furniture to keep pavements clear
  • Entrances to side roads leading off North Woolwich Road have been narrowed to improve safety at junctions, and include pedestrian priority crossings across side roads, where possible

CA4 - North Woolwich Road looking east towards Pontoon Dock Station

Character Area 4 - New Neighbourhoods

Key proposed changes at this location include:

  • A large new public space next to Pontoon Dock DLR station, creating opportunities for events and activities
  • The new public space will link to Thames Barrier Park and create a key north/south link to the park across North Woolwich Road
  • A new pedestrian crossing near the station
  • A combination of low-level planting and raised planters, with a variety of species to increase biodiversity
  • Resurfacing of the entire area with more attractive and durable materials to cater for increased footfall near the station
  • Introducing new seating areas with planting and playful elements for informal play
  • New creative wayfinding to key destinations
  • Potential to accommodate cycle hire facilities in the future

CA4 - North Woolwich Road looking east towards Thames Road

Character Area 4 - Connaught Bridge and approaches

Key proposed changes at this location include:

  • Removing a section of North Woolwich roundabout and changing the road layout to a ‘Give-way’ junction
  • A large new public space for the local community under the DLR viaduct structure. This includes a variety of planting and new semi-mature trees to improve biodiversity, places to sit, and new permeable surfaces
  • New segregated cycle lanes in both directions on the southern side of North Woolwich Road
  • New pavements with planting and street trees along the edge to create a green buffer from the road


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