Boris backs key rail infrastructure projects

By Jim Dunton - Tue 18 June 2013, 5:09 pm

London Mayor Boris Johnson has committed himself to driving forward key railway-infrastructure projects that will underpin the regeneration of Barking and Dagenham.

In his just-published 2020 Vision for London, Johnson includes a specific pledge to "open up" Barking Riverside with the development of 25,000 homes and the creation of 14,000 jobs, aided by the extension of heavy rail passenger services from Barking to the neighbourhood by 2017.

Johnson said the line-extension alone was expected to support the construction of 10,000 additional homes.

The vision document also commits to the electrification of  London Overground’s Barking to Gospel Oak line.

Barking & Dagenham Council welcomed the pledge, but urged Johnson to enable work to start sooner rather than later.

Regeneration lead Councillor Cameron Geddes said Barking and Dagenham had been lobbying the Greater London Authority to “inject pace and real focus” into the Barking Riverside area for some time.

“The possibilities for growth, regeneration, new housing, schools and transport links are enormous in what is a prime piece of land right on the edge of the Thames,” he said.

“Our population is already growing extremely fast because people are aspiring to live in Barking and Dagenham.

“We need the infrastructure to absorb that growth – so that east London builds on the Olympic legacy and truly becomes the part of London that can drive economic recovery.”

Barking and Dagenham is also calling on Johnson to redraw Transport for London’s zoning map, which it says unfairly makes it cheaper for commuters to travel into central London from the west than from the east.

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