Danson: A private development of the 1930s

Transport Links

Many of the new residents of the Danson Estate kept their jobs in central London. As the number of commuters increased, so did their complaints. In January 1930 the Medical Officer of Health was instructed to write to the Southern Railway Company regarding the overcrowded trains on the Bexleyheath line. The Company did what it could. In 1931 Welling station was rebuilt. The platforms were lengthened and an additional coal siding added to cope with longer and more frequent trains.

In March 1926 the London General Omnibus Company extended its service from Woolwich to Bexley via Welling. Then in May 1933 the Wood Green to Shooters Hill service was extended to Welling High Street. The arrival of the buses was not entirely welcome as they competed with Bexley Councilís own tramways, which operated a route from Dartford, via Crayford, Bexleyheath and Welling to connect with the London County Council service at Plumstead. Although the tramways were intermittently profitable, their decrepit rolling stock and worn-out track put them at a disadvantage compared with their commercial rival. In 1933 both services were taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board, which proceeded to replace the tramways with trolleybuses.

The Council took care to ensure that the roads joining the new houses were of a suitable width. In 1923 unemployed ex-servicemen were hired to widen Danson Road. Although few houses were equipped with a garage, this omission was put right in the years after 1935 as a tidal wave of applications came before the Planning Committee, making it necessary to change procedures to facilitate their processing.

Whatever the developersí original intentions had been, the Danson Estate was soon very much part of the big car economy, a trend accelerated perhaps by the building of Rochester Way, just south of the estate, between 1926 and 1928. In 1930 the estate acquired a petrol station off Danson Park and in 1932 a car showroom opened in Park View Road.