Barking commuters to benefit from extra c2c rush hour trains

Barking station (Picture: Ken Mears)

Barking station (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant

Commuters are set to benefit from additional trains as part of c2c’s timetable as it improves services for Barking passengers.

The rail operator reduced the number of rush hour trains calling at the station in recent timetable revisions, citing “overcrowding”.

But following a campaign led by Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge, passengers will see some services reinstated from December.

A letter from c2c managing director Julian Drury to Dame Margaret, seen by the Post, details the changes.

These include plugging the 17 minute gap between the 08.02 service and the 08.19 train by introducing an additional call at 08.11.

Other gaps of eight and nine minutes respectively will be plugged by extra stops at 07.03 and 08.49.

The existing 09.05 departure from Barking will be doubled in length from four to eight carriages.

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In addition, the 17.01 and 18.01 departures from Fenchurch Street will also now call at Barking, at 17.16 and 18.17 respectively.

Dame Margaret said: “I was shocked that c2c took the decision in May to cut our peak-time train services in Barking.

“That’s why I am pleased that c2c have now realised the error of their ways and have listened to the 500 residents who signed my petition by bringing back five peak time trains with a sixth train to be doubled in length.”

But she added: “I will not stop here. In 2014 we were promised a train would stop at Barking every three minutes at peak times. I will not rest until c2c deliver on this promise they made to residents.”

The new timetable is set to come into effect from December 10.

In his letter, Mr Drury explained that the changes were “significant” and were in “response to approaches from our customers”.

He added: “This involves balancing the priorities of passengers across all the different areas of our routes - some of which are conflicting - with the obligations we have in our franchise agreement.”

Mr Drury also wrote that the firm aims to deploy a fleet of new trains from 2019/20 that will help it cater for around 6,500 more passengers in each peak, adding: “This will make a huge difference to what we can do.”