Beam Park station 'can't go ahead without government support', council says
- Credit: Alastair Lockhart LDRS
Beam Park station will not be finished unless the government supports it, according to Havering Council.
This paper reported earlier this month that the future of the station had become uncertain.
City Hall has committed to spending £43million on delivering the station, including a ten-year indemnity to protect the Department for Transport (DfT) against any expected operational deficit.
However, when asked by this newspaper if it will support in principle the creation of a station in Beam Park, the DfT said it wants to "be held immune" from the project's financial risk for the benefit of taxpayers and passengers.
A spokesperson explained it has not withdrawn any funding, as the project is to be funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA).
They added: "As it stands, the financial offer proposed by the GLA does not cover the full risk we believe Beam Park station imports, particularly around operating loss forecasts and revenue abstraction from the neighbouring stations."
These stations, Rainham and Dagenham Dock, would have sat either side of Beam Park on c2c's line between Fenchurch Street and Grays.
A spokesperson for mayor of London Sadiq Khan previously described the DfT's decision not to support the project as "extremely disappointing" and called the station "critical" for unlocking thousands of new homes.
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Havering Council leader Damian White said the authority will work with partners to "agree a way forward".
"The construction of the station will be managed by the GLA who have committed a significant package of funding to the project," he added.
"The delivery of the station cannot progress until DfT changes its position and agrees to support its adoption onto the wider network, and we will continue to press for their support.”
The DfT said it fully supports the 3,000-home development at Beam Park, being delivered by developer Countryside and housing association L&Q.
Some residents have already moved in and Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham MP, has launched a campaign calling on the government to ensure the station is delivered.
"This is a massive blow to those people who have bought homes in the area specifically because they believed the promise of a new station on their doorstep," Mr Cruddas said.
He has set up a petition, which he says has more than 1,000 signatures, and his campaign is being supported by Barking and Dagenham Council.
The whole Beam Park development is set to be completed in 2030 and will also include two schools, retail space, a park, a gym, a nursery and a multi-faith centre.