We all know that people in Barking and Dagenham get a raw deal when it comes to transport. It is one of the issues that come up time and again at my regular coffee afternoons. In particular residents are rightly frustrated about infrequent and overcrowded buses, the difficulty they have getting to Queen’s hospital, and the outdated facilities at Barking Station.
Bus services are a particular problem for residents living on the far side of the A13. Residents on Thames View are waiting far too long for a bus only to find they are full when they arrive, causing real difficulty for those trying to get to work. This summer I successfully lobbied Transport for London to increase the number of EL1 and EL2 buses travelling through the area which has eased some of the pressure on the route.
The lack of buses from Barking to Queen’s Hospital continues to be a major issue for residents across the Borough. I have heard from some of you who have to take three buses to get to Queen’s. This is simply not good enough, whether you need to get to hospital for a non-emergency – if your child falls and breaks their arm for example; for an outpatient appointment, or to visit friend and relatives. That is why I have launched a new petition calling on the Mayor of London to extend the No.5 bus route so that it stops directly outside Queen’s Hospital. I urge all residents to sign it – you can add your name my calling my office on 0208 594 1333.
Every day hundreds of you travel through Barking Station into London and Essex. Yet the station is still not user friendly. There is only one lift for the whole station and there are no information screens at the entrance showing underground train times. This is extremely frustrating for passengers. I recently met with representatives from c2c and expressed these concerns. I am pleased to say that as part of a station upgrade there will now be a lift on every platform and a main departure board with all train times. Soon we will finally have a station fit for the 21stcentury.
I am doing my best to improve transport services for local residents but we still have a long way to go, and I will continue to lobby for more funding to meet the Borough’s needs. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there are any particular problems you would like to raise with me.