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Free travel on Barking to Gospel Oak line in September

PUBLISHED: 10:19 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 06 August 2019

One of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfL

One of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfL

© Transport for London

There's good news for passengers on the Barking to Gospel Oak line, and it comes in the form of free travel,

Those using the troubled Overground line will not have to pay for their journeys between Saturday, August 31 and Tuesday, October 1 as compensation for the months of disruption caused during the electrification process.

The line was initially closed for eight months from June 2016 for work to be carried out, but some materials were incorrectly designed and others delivered late. This led to another two month closure at the end of 2017 - but then the new trains weren't ready.

The problems with the trains continued into this year, beyond when leases on some of the old stock ran out, meaning a reduced timetable had to be implemented.

The new trains are now running as they ought to, meaning the free travel - which had previously been promised - can be introduced.

Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: "I'm delighted that the new electric trains are now fully in operation on the Gospel Oak to Barking line - doubling capacity for passengers, providing free WiFi and improving air quality for everyone.

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"The month's free travel is a well-deserved thank you to passengers for their patience, and we have made it as simple as possible for people to benefit from this offer."

The free travel, requested by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, will be funded by manufacturer Bombardier Transportation.

Customers will be required to have a valid ticket, Oyster or contactless card during the free travel month.

The part of the journey made on the Gospel Oak to Barking line will be refunded, based on the full single pay as you go fare.

It will be applied automatically for those using contactless or Oyster pay as you go, weekly or monthly Travelcard users.

Longer Oyster Travelcard users will need an online account to get the refund and paper ticket holders can submit a refund claim via TfL's Customer Services.

Phil Hufton, Uk president of Bombardier Transportation, said: "It's our pleasure to fund the mayor's initiative to say thank you to Gospel Oak to Barking passengers, and to celebrate the arrival of Bombardier's new British-built electric trains that are already transforming the daily commute on this line."

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