London Overground extension cleared for construction

Chris Grayling the secretary of state for transport has granted Transport for London powers to start construction of an extension to the Gospel Oak to Barking line of the London Overground.

This 4.5 kilometre extension will encompass a new station being built within the Barking Riverside community, and is anticipated to spur a variety of benefits for the local area, with knock on benefits beyond the local community.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:

“This is wonderful news for east London. Barking Riverside has huge potential to deliver thousands of much-needed affordable homes, and the extension of the Overground will ensure residents have the high-quality transport links they need, both to the surrounding area and commuting into central London. Barking Riverside will deliver new homes, schools, healthcare facilities and much more, and the Overground extension is a vital part of making these exciting plans a reality.”

The local Barking Riverside community will be linked at the completion of the extension to the rest of London’s public transport network, connecting at Barking with both underground lines as well as c2c main line rail services.

Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2018, with the goal of train services running before the end of 2021. With Network Rail currently electrifying the existing Gospel Oak to Barking overground line, the line and extension will feature the latest electric overground train stock, adding to the increased efficiency and benefits to the surrounding area.

Current plans for the local area include the building of 10,800 new homes, a new school, healthcare facilities, as well as a new centre comprised of facilities for both commercial and leisure. 

£172m of the £263m cost of the extension scheme and associated community development is being met by the developers, Barking Riverside Limited. TfL’s Growth Fund will partially cover the remaining costs, with funds schemes that are defined to spur housing and employment growth in the surrounding area.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell said:

“This is fantastic news and shows Barking Riverside is on track to become Barcelona on Thames. It’s also yet another sign that Barking and Dagenham is at the epicentre of London’s eastward shift.”

This extension to Barking Riverside is a part of the mayor’s draft transport strategy to improve the city of London’s prosperity through improve transport and ‘active travel’.