TfL urged to give reassurance over plans for Barking Riverside Overground extension

An East London council today demanded reassurance from Transport for London that the extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside will go ahead in 2021 as planned.

Barking and Dagenham council is concerned by reports that the design tender process for the rail project has slipped by at least five months - writes

Darren Rodwell, the Labour leader of the local authority, said any delays to the extension would be “unacceptable” as it will be a crucial link for thousands of new homes and jobs in the area.

Invitations to tender for the £263 million project had been expected this September. TfL has admitted they will now not go out until February next year, with the contract awarded early in the summer.

However, the Mayor’s transport body insisted that delay had not yet affected the overall construction programme, which would be delivered in 2021 as planned.

Sadiq Khan has been urged to give reassurance on the plans (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Mr Rodwell said: “Any possible delay to the extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside will be unacceptable.

“Not only is this extension critical for the Barking Riverside development, but our regeneration company Be First has some ambitious development ideas in this area too. All in all, over 30,000 homes and thousands of new jobs.

“I will be seeking reassurances from TfL that they are doing everything they can to deliver on their promise that this service will start in 2021.”

Be First chief Pat Hayes said: “The extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside is not just crucial to the development of this site but also to the regeneration of the rest of the borough. It is vital it’s not delayed by procedural issues.”The extension will add 4km (2.48 miles) of track to the Gospel Oak to Barking line. There will also be a new station at Barking Riverside, raising the prospect of thousands more homes there and beyond.

Detailed site investigations along the proposed route found patches of poor ground that would make it difficult to lay a track. A decision to switch power provision for the line from a substation in Barking to a larger station in West Ham caused further delay.

A TfL spokesman said: “The design stage is coming to a close, which will allow the next stage of this fully funded project to progress. Construction of the link will begin next year and train services will still start in 2021 as planned.”

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