The UK's Transport for London (TfL) is seeking a contractor to build the £263m Barking Riverside extension rail link that will serve east London's housing development site.

Construction of the 4.5km line extension between Gospel Oak and Barking will deliver London Overground services to a new station in the Barking Riverside community.

The extension will enable construction of 10,800 new homes at Barking Riverside, a new school, healthcare facilities and a new district centre, as well as shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

“The London Overground network has helped regenerate other parts of London by providing a frequent, reliable and high standard rail service."

Delivering a sustainable public transport alternative to car travel, the extension will also link Barking Riverside into London's public transport network through connections at Barking, with District and Hammersmith & City Tube services and c2c services to London Fenchurch Street and Essex.

London for Transport deputy mayor Val Shawcross said: "As we have seen in other parts of London, the extended Overground line will be an integral part of ensuring regeneration benefits everyone in the community, with excellent transport links to the rest of London and the creation of new homes and jobs."

TfL has already placed a notice with the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) seeking expressions of interest to construct the extension and plans to issue a formal invitation to tender next year once the design work concludes.

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TfL London Overground director Mike Stubbs said: "This vital new railway will open up the Barking Riverside area, supporting up to 10,800 new homes, along with new jobs and improved facilities for the local community.

“The London Overground network has helped regenerate other parts of London by providing a frequent, reliable and high standard rail service, and this rail extension will help Barking riverside to grow and develop."

Construction is set to begin next year and train services are expected to start in 2021. 

Supporting 14 transport projects across London, the extension is part-funded by TfL's £360m growth fund.

The majority of the project cost will be met by Barking Riverside, a joint venture between the GLA (49%) and London & Quadrant (51%), which are contributing £172m.

TfL will provide the remaining funding for the extension.