Work to extend the London Overground to Barking Riverside could get underway next year after Mayor Boris Johnson instructed Transport for London to seek the powers needed to start construction.
The agency has been asked to apply for a Transport and Works Act Order allowing it to start work on the 4.5km extension which City Hall and TfL say will support a nearby development providing 10,800 new homes as well as shopping, leisure and healthcare facilities.
The £263m project is being jointly funded by London & Quadrant, which is providing £172m, and the Greater London Authority.
If the necessary permissions are granted by ministers, construction could start in “late 2017” with passenger services commencing in 2021.
Mayor Johnson said: “The London Overground has been a huge success story, driving forward regeneration in all corners of the capital and proving incredibly popular with passengers.
“The unequivocal support for this extension shows what an impact the line will make to Barking, and I’m delighted that we’re ready to take it forward and ensure Barking Riverside realises its full potential.”
Richard de Cani, TfL’s Managing Director of Planning, added: “Overwhelming support has been demonstrated throughout the consultation process for this extension of London Overground network to Barking Riverside.
“We will now be moving this to the next step so that we can get construction underway. This vital new railway will breathe life into this area, enabling up to 11,000 vital new homes, along with healthcare and leisure services, to be delivered.”