New Barking Riverside rail station delayed

Barking residents have expressed frustration over the delay to London’s newest overground station.

Barking Riverside station was originally planned to open in December 2021, but has now been delayed to at least Autumn 2022.

The new stop will add 4.5 km of track to the London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line, extending the route to the banks of the Thames.

The cost of the budget has risen from an original estimate of £260 million to over £327 million.

The station is part of a multi-million pound development project in Barking, with plans for new leisure centres, shopping centres, and over 10,000 new homes.

An Uber Boat service operated by Thames Clippers is anticipated to begin running in Spring 2022.

The boat will provide access from Barking Riverside to Canary Wharf in five minutes and transport to central London in 45 minutes.

Hundreds of new flats and houses have already been built at Barking Riverside, with many taking the opportunity to move to the up-and-coming area over the past year.

However, some new residents have been left disappointed at the delay of the station’s opening.

Until the station opens next year, those living in the area will have to take the bus service to Barking Overground station.

Resident Mohammed Mohiuddin described the situation as “awful”.

“It takes half an hour more to get to my workplace,” he said. “I’m hoping the boat service will open, [it] should be more simple.”

Mr Mohiuddin added, however, that he understood the difficulties faced by Transport for London in building the station on time.

“I give them the benefit of the doubt because of COVID,” he said.

Another resident, Hossain Moazzam, echoed concerns about the station.

He said: “It’s taking [a] longer time and I need to get the bus to Barking station… so that costs us extra money and time.”

He added that when he had purchased his new home in the area he was “under the impression that the station would be open.”

Despite the added travel time, some residents added that the inconvenience has been minimised by the bus connection to Barking station, particularly as many are still working from home.

Stephanie Chan, who lives locally, said that the difficulty was “not so much at the moment”, and added that “the buses are quite frequent to Barking.”

But she added: “It will be faster to get the train than the bus, because it can take 22 minutes instead of six minutes.”

Transport for London has stated that the station’s opening could be delayed as late as December 2022.

David Rowe, Head of Major Projects Sponsorship at Transport for London said: “In line with many other construction projects, work on the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside was brought to a temporary safe stop at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March [2020].

“Work on-site restarted last summer, and there has been real progress on the project including a fully constructed viaduct that will carry the new railway and work at Barking Riverside station is now nearing completion.

“However, the pause to work, coupled with having to divert or redesign around previously unidentified buried utilities, means that we now expect to complete the extension by autumn 2022. The extension will support the construction of 10,800 homes as well as healthcare, community and leisure facilities.”


Alastair Lockhart

Local Democracy Reporter