Sunday 19 June 2022

Riverside Review (2)

Over The Years

The RED road across the top of the map is the original A13; the railway is the "Tilbury Loop" The ORANGE road is River Road which originally just served the industry arrayed along Barking Creek on the River Roding. The River Roding is the same water course crossed by the Central Line at Roding Valley station.
At the end of River Road was Creekmouth Power Station hi.
A modern map shows some progress on the Barking Riverside development, but falls short of the true present situation.
It doesn't show the new railway, for example. So how about turning our view round to look south? This is what the riverside should look like when it is finished.

And What It Will Become!
Ringed in RED is the turning circle for the EL1 on Northgate Road; in ORANGE is the railway station and CYAN rings the landing stage as used by coal barges serving the power station. The YELLOW line is the so-called Goblin line (Gospel Oak to Barking Line) as extended.

We can put the same information on an aerial view of development up to (nearly) recently.
Turning back to point northwards, the same locations can be roughly plotted on the 1940s map shown at the head of this posting.
It is not accurate to the inch, but gives us a good idea. With this in mind let us go back to some pictures already posted on Roger French's recent blog. (thanks Rog!).

When The Boat Comes In
The current stop for the as yet unopened station is where the incomplete layby was shown in yesterdays's blog. The layby is now (almost) ready ...
...  but only adorned by a dolly stop.
We noted some blue hoardings yesterday on Streetview ...
... and there is now a temporary walkway ...
... leading (eventually!) to a boardwalk along the old coal delivery pier.
You then come to a substantial companionway leading to a new floating pontoon moored just off the "coal pier".
And finally, after a lengthy trek, you arrive at the Uber Boat which will take you back westbound to central London.
It is a nice ride, but will it attract genuine commuters? When Roger tried it out it was at a weekend and well loaded with passengers making exploratory journeys.

The Monday to Friday timetable offers extended peak time journeys only ...
... nothing in the middle of the day to the Barking Riverside pier.
But at weekends Barking gets a boat every 30 minutes at least, throughout the day.
The journey will  take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to Westminster, so the commute is not quick. How long would it take by Overground to Barking and then District Line to Westminster?

Less, of course, but a far less pleasant ride!

Through trains from Riverside do not run to central London - there is always at least one change and sometimes two.

The TfL journey planner gives a series of stressful and complicated journeys from Barking Station ...
... to which must be added, at least 10 minutes (including connection time) train ride from Riverside.

So a stressed cramped 50 minutes OR MORE versus a comfortable sail for one and a quarter hours.

Unfortunately the boat is twice the price!

It will be interesting to see what happens when the railway opens. The implication of TfL's train launch publicity is that the EL3 will be extended further ...
... we will have to wait and see. Services to the development may well depend on how TfL's finances are sorted out - if they ever are!

 Next Variety blog : Mondau 20th June 

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