UK: The Secretary of State for Transport issued a decision letter on August 4 approving an order under the Transport & Works Act to grant Transport for London legal powers to build the 4·5 km Barking – Barking Riverside extension of the Gospel Oak – Barking line in east London.

The extension is planned to support a redevelopment project which includes 10 800 homes, a school, healthcare services, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

In December 2016 TfL announced that Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Volker Fitzpatrick had been shortlisted to build the electrified extension, which would run alongside the existing Fenchurch Street – Tilbury line between Barking station and the Renwick Road overbridge, where it would turn south to run over a new viaduct to reach the future terminus. Around 1·5 km of new alignment would be required.

The project is fully funded, with £172m of the £263m cost being met by the Barking Riverside Ltd development joint venture between the Greater London Authority (49%) and London & Quadrant (51%), and the remainder to be provided by TfL.

It is envisaged that construction could begin in late 2017 for opening in 2021. The future service would be operated as part of the London Overground concession.

In approving the application for legal powers, the Secretary of State agreed that the construction of a viaduct which would need to be partly demolished in the event of any further extension of the line under the River Thames would be justified, as it would support current needs.