Good Growth: Barking Riverside

Source: RTM Feb/March 2019

Lucinda Turner, Transport for London’s (TfL) director of spatial planning, argues that transport investment is the key to unlock good growth in a city.

Despite recent economic shocks, London’s population continues to grow. By 2041, the city’s population is expected to grow to over 10 million. Growth can be good for London, but it is important that all of the city’s residents feel its benefits. As the city grows, it must also become a better place to live and work – London’s growth must be ‘Good Growth.’

Transport plays a fundamental role in facilitating growth and provides an opportunity to shape London into a city that works better. Using public transport links and creating better walking and cycling environments to help areas develop will support a future of reduced car dependency and increased active travel.

Development on brownfield land is important if the capital is to keep pace with a growing population. Of course, brownfield sites come with their own challenges: some of these areas are currently not very well connected and may be some distance away from local stations or bus routes, and streets can feel less than welcoming. There are also significant upfront costs, including making contaminated ground safe and ready for use, which needs to be paid before developers can focus on new and enhanced streets, schools, shops, and open spaces to make attractive places for future residents.

It’s vital that all those involved work together to tackle the challenges and plan in a proactive and integrated way to make the most of the opportunities. The Barking Riverside development in east London is delivering up to 10,800 homes on the 443-acre site that was formerly home to three electricity power stations. Half of these homes will be affordable and a new riverside community will be created, making it one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK.

But it’s been challenging: the costs, coupled with the lack of accessible transport options and low land values, can reduce the viability of developments of this type. At Barking Riverside, just 700 homes had been built by 2016 – the site was only truly unlocked once there was commitment to a new transport link.

Getting the transport provision right from the start is vital. The planning process for Barking Riverside began over a decade ago, and it was apparent even then that improved transport connections were going to be a major contributing factor to the success of this ambitious project.

Early engagement and close collaborative working is essential to the success of projects like this, with TfL working closely on Barking Riverside with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Barking Riverside Ltd to help deliver the masterplan for the area.

We carefully considered and consulted on a number of options, including extending the Docklands Light Railway from Gallions Reach, before a Transport Works Act Order was submitted for an extension to the existing Gospel Oak to Barking line into the development.

This 4.5km new service will include 1.5km of new viaduct that will run from the existing Tilbury Loop line, between Barking and Dagenham Docks, to a new station at the heart of Barking Riverside, which will include provision of full step-free access, with a four trains per hour service expected to operate from 2021. The plans have also future-proofed provision for an intermediate station at Renwick Road, called Castle Green station, the actual delivery of which would be subject to a suitable business case and funding package.

The main construction of the Barking Riverside Extension will be carried out as joint venture between Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick (MSVF), and work began in February 2019. MSVF will be one of many contractors collaborating on the delivery of this site – one of Europe’s largest brownfield developments.

By delivering public transport that not only unlocks new areas for housing, but also helps support the city’s wider ambitions of cleaner air and fewer car journeys, we’re confident we can help make Barking Riverside and other Opportunity Areas vibrant new parts of London.


Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >