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Croxley Rail Link gets final go ahead  

Hertfordshire County Council delighted that Croxley Rail Link is a step closer following funding agreement

27 March 2015

The long-awaited Croxley Rail Link, which is designed to connect London Underground's Metropolitan line to Watford Junction, has moved a step closer to receiving the green light, following a funding agreement between Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Transport.

London Underground will deliver the rail link. The preliminary works will continue and it's expected that construction work to re-route the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction will start later this year.

The rail link will open up huge potential for the economic regeneration of South West Hertfordshire, particularly for the people of Watford.

Hertfordshire County Council has been designated to lead a consortium of local funding partners, including the Hertfordshire LEP and Watford Borough Council, which combined, will contribute £128.08m to the total scheme costs. The Department for Transport has agreed to provide £109.82m and Transport for London will provide £46.5m for the rail link.

Detailed funding arrangements for the scheme are still to be agreed, although a clearer picture of these arrangements is expected to emerge over the coming weeks.

Benefits of the rail link include:

  • A London Underground rail link to central London for all Watford's residents, which will also supplement existing passenger services from Watford Junction and Watford High Street. On completion of the rail link, up to 16 trains an hour will link the town with London.
  • Approximately 2,700 net additional households will fall within an 800m catchment area of a station.
  • An improved east-west public transport connection for Watford and Croxley Green, which also helps reduce the strain on Watford’s busy road network.
  • The provision of an important public transport link for patients and employees of the existing hospital and the under-construction Watford Health Campus.
  • The rail link will support economic development in Watford and its surrounding areas by providing first class transport links to business and retail centres.

Rob Smith, Deputy Director - Environment (Transport and Environment Management) at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "This is wonderful news for the people of Watford and its surrounding areas. Not only will this rail link improve accessibility between Watford and central London, but it also has the potential to significantly boost economic development in the region. This will bring business, jobs and many more opportunities to the Watford area. Hertfordshire County Council and its partners are proud to have got the project to this important stage. We are pleased that London Underground Limited is now in a position to take the project back and deliver it."

The planned route begins at a new junction near Baldwins Lane, about a kilometre north-east of the currently disused Croxley station. A 400m new viaduct will take the line over the Watford Road dual carriageway and the Grand Union Canal on to the Croxley Green branch line track bed to Watford High Street and Watford Junction.

Joan Hancox, Hertfordshire LEP's Infrastructure and Growth Manager, said: "This is a fantastic result, which will really help to drive economic growth and prosperity in and around Watford. Croxley Rail Link is not only a great infrastructure project but also a transformational regeneration project which will stimulate investment in a range of complex brownfield sites across Watford. Hertfordshire LEP recently provisionally re-allocated £37.15m of our Growth Deal funding to Croxley Rail Link which is on top of £50.5m already allocated, making a total contribution of £87.65m. This represents 40 per cent of the total funding we are due to receive from Government through our Growth Deal and demonstrates the importance that we attach to this single project."

Manny Lewis, Managing Director of Watford Borough Council, said: "This is fantastic news for our residents and businesses. We have worked really hard behind the scenes to help make this happen. It will bring over £1.2 billion of investment to the town, supporting our major projects like the Watford Health Campus, Ascot Road, Watford Business Park, Watford Junction Interchange and Charter Place Shopping Centre."

Geof Muggeridge, Director of Community and Environmental Services, Three Rivers District Council, said: "We welcome the funding agreement. Three Rivers has a thriving economy and these improved links will mean a further boost for Croxley Business Park, local jobs and greater convenience for the whole community.

"Public transport helps to reduce congestion on roads and car parks as well as cutting emissions. We are continuing to work with our partners to make sure the project is delivered with the minimum impact on residents and the environment."

Notes for editors

Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, London Underground, Network Rail, Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council are working in partnership to deliver the project.

Hertfordshire County Council was encouraged by the Department for Transport to take on and progress this railway scheme at a time in the 1990s when the railway industry, both in the public and private sector, was struggling. The county council has had significant success in getting the scheme to a stage where construction can start.