Transport has always been integral to the development of industry in East and South East London; it was also key to it's decline and regeneration plans.

The arrival of the railways in the 19th century was crucial to the development of the region. Some previously rural areas became commuter suburb's such as Bexleyheath while others like Dagenham became heavily industrialised.

The Port of London, the Royal Docks and Dagenham Docks were a hive of rail activity and many companies built internal railways to move cargo around their large sites.

Stratford became a centre of locomotive engineering and depots such as Slade Green, Bexley employed thousands across the region.

The road haulage sector grew rapidly in the post-war period, and the decline of the docks and heavy industries had a major impact on the regional rail industry.

The Stratford Works finally closed in 1991, though Slade Green continues. However, transport has been central to the ongoing regeneration of the Thames Gateway from the Docklands Light Railway in the 1980s, to the Jubilee Line extension in 2000 and future plans for Crossrail and the DLR extension to Dagenham Dock and Woolwich.