Proposals to upgrade the Barking to Gospel Oak London Overground line, allowing it to be used by electric trains, could be approved in June, according to the Greater London Assembly.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the assembly’s transport committee that the improvements to the line could be included in June’s spending round.
The scheme, which would result in greener and potentially more frequent services between north-east and north-west London, is anticipated to cost £90 million.
But infrastructure operator Network Rail has warned that the cost of the work would increase if the programme were delayed until after the 2018 commencement of Crossrail services.
Transport committee chair Caroline Pidgeon said the assembly had been disappointed that the Barking to Gospel Oak electrification scheme had been left out of last month’s budget, but was hopeful that the work would be seen as a priority in June.
“Electrification will deliver huge benefits to both the local area and London as a whole, including improvements to the rail network connectivity, and a reduced environmental impact,” she said.
“Full funding must be confirmed this year or, due to the impact of Crossrail’s construction, costs will rise far beyond the current estimates.
“Confirmation this year will mean this significant milestone for Britain’s rail infrastructure can go ahead without further delay or spiralling costs.”
Transport for London has offered to contribute £25 million towards the scheme, the assembly said.
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