Opening of Barking Riverside Overground extension delayed
- Credit: Moxon Architects
The opening of the Overground extension to Barking Riverside has been delayed until 2022.
The scheme, which adds 4.5km of track to the Gospel Oak to Barking line, had been expected to open later this year. Work started in late 2018.
David Rowe, TfL’s head of major projects sponsorship, 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.
"While on-site work restarted last summer, this pause - coupled with having to divert or redesign around previously unidentified buried utilities - means we now expect to complete the extension by autumn 2022.
“These challenges have resulted in increased costs, which remain under close review and we are working hard to keep these down wherever possible.”
Last October the scheme was included in TfL’s emergency budget as a major initiative lined up to receive a share of £1.4 billion.
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The £294.5million project also saw challenges in 2019 when major diversions of Thames Water sewage pipes and redesigns of viaduct piers were had to be made.
By the end of last year, work returned to normal following the pause caused by Covid-19.
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Works on a southern viaduct were completed and the fitting of windows on the completed station had been due to start.
But TfL now forecasts the new station will open between July and December next year.
The extension is expected to support the construction of 10,800 homes as well as healthcare, community and leisure facilities at Barking Riverside.
But no more than 4,000 homes can be occupied before the station opens.
This then unlocks a planning condition which will allow another 6,800 homes to be built on what was Europe's largest brownfield regeneration site when the extension work started.
House sales and future building work "can only be strengthened" by the extension's opening "at the earliest opportunity", a TfL document states.
It adds that operating costs are not impacted by the delay to the line entering service.
When it is open, four Overground trains are expected to run in each direction every hour.