Barking and Dagenham Council, together with its urban regeneration company Be First, have submitted a representation to the government’s comprehensive spending review to request investment for a game-changing transport package that could deliver 30,000 homes by 2041 and unlock 12,000 homes more immediately in the Castle Green area.
The proposal would see the construction of a tunnel adjacent to the existing A13 that would eventually replace the current dual carriageway that blights the area with noise and pollution. This would facilitate the creation of a new Overground station at Castle Green that would also act as a catalyst for 12,000 new homes at Castle Green and economic growth across the region, bringing 6,000 additional jobs and high quality industrial space to the area.
The project will also complement existing initiatives aimed at levelling up and unleashing the potential of East London by supporting freight, logistics and enhanced port facilities at Dagenham Dock. Additionally, It will aid the relocation of the City of London’s wholesale markets to the borough, thereby delivering growth and opportunities that will flow into London and right down the Thames Estuary.
From studies conducted by Arup, Jacobs and Farrells on funding, economics and strategic transport in the borough, the project would directly unlock £1.7bn in land value uplift for the wider area and provide a chance to build genuine high quality and affordable homes to help mitigate the capital’s housing crisis.
Furthermore, the tunnel is also an infrastructure project that can be delivered at relative speed ahead of 2030 and would be constructed under a phased delivery model that minimises disruption in the borough. The total cost of tunnel plus station being £800m which would be more than recouped from the development value that would be created. The scheme being able to be delivered within the life of the existing Design Build Operate contract for the road.
Initially the Borough is seeking £5m to complete full design work and a detailed business plan.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, said: “As London moves east, the need to invest in infrastructure to advance the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic has never been so important. The tunnelling of the A13 will deliver game changing economic, social and environmental benefits not just to the residents of Barking and Dagenham, but importantly, one that will support high-quality employment growth to level up one of the most deprived areas of the country.”