About the Royal Docks

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Information about the Trust's area

Massive change
Less Isolated
Economic Change
More change to come...
Facts and Figures
  ~ Location
  ~ Services and Facilities
  ~ Census Data

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Related pages:
The Royal Docks - a short history
Royal Docks - development update
Regeneration - links and contacts
New Urban Development Corporation


Map of Trust's AreaMassive change

The Trust's area is that part of the London Borough of Newham which lies to the south of the A13 (Newham Way. The area, stretching from Bow Creek to Barking Creek, has a proud history rooted in the Royal Docks and the industry which came with them.  Today, though, the ships are long gone, and much of the industry too, and the area is well on its way through a period of renewal, refurbishment and huge change.

There are still many reminders of the past. The dockside cranes on the south side of the Royal Victoria Dock have been carefully preserved along with a good number of listed buildings such as the Gallions Hotel and the old Warehouses now successfully incorporated into the ExCel Exhibition Centre. Even in the new Thames Barrier park there is the large Green Dock structure which seeks to remind us of the docklands past.  But mostly now the area has a very modern feel.  Dotted about the area are pockets of housing which survived the heavy bombing of the Second World War but most people live in homes built after the war.  In Beckton and West Silvertown and elsewhere the housing is very new - one of the fruits of the massive regeneration of the area launched in the 1980s and 1990's under the auspices of the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) and which continues still, six years after LDDC left the scene.

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Royal Albert DLR StationLess Isolated

And the area is now much less isolated and cut-off than it used to be. With the LDDC came the Docklands Strategic Highways which sought to open up the Docklands north of the River. In the Royal Docks the new network included the Lower Lea Crossing, an improved North Woolwich Road, a new Connaught Crossing, Royal Albert Way and Royal Docks Road. The Docklands Light Railway was extended through the area to Beckton and now a new branch is operating from Canning Town to the City Airport - which offers flights to many of the major destinations in Europe. The new line is now being extended to Woolwich Arsenal and consultations are in progress about an extension of the line eastwards into Barking.  The long awaited scheme to upgrade the A13 all the way to the M25 is now complete much of the congestion on the Docklands roads has now evaporated.  In the future there is the prospect that Crossrail might one day serve the area and there are plans for new river crossings.

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Economic Change

Sava centre Beckton

Some of the industrial activity of the area remains, notably along the River.  But the employment generated by the docks has gone and much of the industry for which the area was well known has now closed or moved elsewhere.  But with the improved access the area now enjoys, and its high profile as an area ripe for regeneration with large sites for development, a new local economy is now growing. The Airport was an early enterprise to bring new jobs to the area and now there is ExCeL, Norton Healthcare and Phase I of the Royals Business Park.  The new hotels attracted by ExCeL, and the large retail developments in Beckton, have also brought large numbers of new jobs. 

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Ramade HotelMore change to come...

But the process of change, and the growth in the population, is far from complete with many new developments still to come.Planning permission has now been granted for Silvertown Quays, a massive mixed development around the Pontoon Dock with the new National Aquarium at its core. To the south the Minoco Wharf and Peruvian Wharf developments are on the agenda and there is the prospect of further development in the Royals Business Park on the north side of the Royal Albert Dock. To the north in the Lower Lea Valley there is the prospect of the huge developments centred around the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games which will certaily have an impact on the Royal Docks too.

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Facts and Figures


The Trust's area is made up of the Royal Docks, Beckton and Custom House wards of the London Borough of Newham and that part of the Canning Town South Ward which lies to the south of the A13.  The area lies mostly in the E6 and E16 London Postal Districts. 

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Services and FacilitiesConnaught Crossing

For information on local authority services visit Newham Council's website. For details of local shopping and services, and on how best to reach the area, visit Royal Docks.info


Census Data

The 2001 Census results provide a good insight to the people living in the wards making up the Royal Docks - click below for the detailed statistics reproduced here by kind permission of the National Statistics Office:

Royal Docks Ward
Beckton Ward
Custom House Ward
Canning Town South Ward*

* Only that part of this ward to the south of the A13 lies within the area of the Trust.

Note: The Census files are in .pdf format and to view them you will need an Acrobat Reader. This can be obtained free of charge by clicking the "Get Acrobat Reader" icon.

The Royal Docks Trust (London)
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee: Registration No: 3032232
Registered as a charity: Registration No: 1045057
Registered office: 37 Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4AF