Local residents and visitors to Barking Riverside will soon benefit from quicker and easier journeys with the confirmation that Barking Riverside will become the capital’s newest railway station this summer, ahead of schedule. Transport for London (TfL) has been able to bring forward the launch of London Overground services to Barking Riverside, originally planned for the autumn, following good progress being made in the completion of the station commissioning and testing stages.
Residents can already see trains running between Barking and Barking Riverside while route testing and driver training takes place by Arriva Rail London, which operates the London Overground on TfL’s behalf. This is a major milestone for the project and one of the final steps ahead of welcoming customers for the first time. Barking Riverside station, which appeared on the Tube map for the first time in May, adds to London’s growing number of step free stations – helping to make the capital a more accessible city for everyone.
Investment in transport benefits the whole country – from supporting jobs and businesses across the country to ensuring supply chains and manufacturers are able to retain the skill base and resources to easily and affordably satisfy transport projects in other regions. Businesses from around the UK have benefited from the Barking Riverside Extension. Throughout construction, the project’s supply chain has supported businesses of all sizes with skills and job creation seen across the whole country. This includes steelwork from Scotland and the East of England, precast concrete from the North West and Northern Ireland and innovative slab track from the East Midlands.
The 4.5km extension, which extends the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground route to a new step-free station at the heart of Barking Riverside, will drastically cut journey times from Barking to Barking Riverside, which currently takes around 25 minutes by bus. Operating four trains per hour, it will take just seven minutes to travel from Barking Riverside to Barking with easy interchange to both the District and Hammersmith & City lines into central London and c2c services.
The extension is an intrinsic part of the Barking Riverside development, which is being delivered by Barking Riverside Limited, a joint venture between L&Q and the Mayor of London. This 180-hectare brownfield site on the northern bank of the River Thames is set to be one of London fastest growing areas. The Barking Riverside Extension will help to enable the construction of more than 10,000 new homes along with a range of community, commercial and retail spaces along a 2km stretch of Thames River frontage. Sitting at the heart of a new public square, the new Barking Riverside step-free station will provide a direct interchange with local bus services and will be a five-minute walk from the riverside, which is already served by Uber Boat by Thames Clippers River Bus services.
Stuart Harvey, TfL’s Chief Capital Officer, said: “Through fantastic collaboration with our partners working on this project, including the MSVF joint venture of Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick, Network Rail and Arriva Rail London, I am pleased to confirm that the Barking Riverside Extension will open this summer. The extension will be a game changer for Barking Riverside – vastly improving transport connectivity, accessibility and helping to realise plans to deliver much needed housing.”
Matthew Carpen, Managing Director of Barking Riverside Limited, said: “Today’s news will be a cause of celebration for all residents, complementing the recent extension of the River Bus service and helping connect Barking Riverside to the rest of the capital.”
Paul Hutchings, Managing Director of Arriva Rail London, said: “We are delighted to be extending the London Overground network to Barking Riverside this summer and are working hard to get the station ready for customers. The commencement of our driver training programme on this brand-new stretch of railway takes us another step closer to operating a safe, reliable and punctual service for the local community.”
Steve Balliston, Project Director for MSVF (Morgan Sindall Infrastructure VolkerFitzpatrick) joint venture, said: “It has been a privilege to work on the Barking Riverside Extension, and we’re delighted that we have achieved this major milestone ahead of the targeted date, through our efficient, safety-conscious and collaborative efforts. The team, along with TfL and our supply chain, has worked extremely hard to meet every challenge and deliver a project that provides better connectivity and employment benefits for the local and wider community.”
Vicky Savage, Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q said: “We’re proud that our vision for Barking Riverside is being realised with the impressive new facilities being delivered. The new Overground Station will have a huge impact on the existing and future community, cementing the status of this development as one of London’s most exciting emerging neighbourhoods.”