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London Mayor Khan wants to Control More Suburban Rail Services - "So why not the Metro Line Extension?" ask Herts Lib Dems

January 3, 2018 8:07 PM

Last year London Mayor Sadiq Khan set out a business case for more suburban rail services to be transferred to Transport for London (TfL).

The principle of these transfers was agreed by the Government in January 2016 and the Mayor presented his business case for four groups of services.

  • South East London (franchise ends June 2018)
  • South Central London (franchise ends September 2021)
  • South West (current franchise now ended)
  • North Central (franchise ends September 2021)

Croxley LinkHowever there is still no committment from TfL and the Mayor to adopt the Metropolitan Line Extension. The unofficial reason for the delay is being given as a funding shortfall of just £50 million out of a project total of ca. £300 million (it involves a large bridge). However at a recent Herts County Council meeting it was announced this is now down to a £40 million gap. This was reported to members by the new leader of the Council in a downbeat mood - and he went as far to admit he was now pessimistic that the money would be found and that the project would go ahead.

Nick Hollinghurst, Herts County Councillor for Tring & the Villages, stressed that the project was important to the people not only of Tring, but also of Berkhamsted, Hemel hempstead, Kings Langley and Chorleywood in providing better public transport to Watford Hospital - and of course to the football ground.

He said, "This is a key transport link in South West Herts. It will improve access to the West Coast Main Line making it easier for local people to reach places like Milton Keynes and Gatwick Airport by train."

"With the Mayor of London keen to take on more suburban railway services, and with the funding gap nearly closed, there is no good reason why Secretary of State Chris Grayling should not now come to an agreement with the Mayor of London, closing the gaps in both track and fonance and giving a green light to an early start to the project."

Nick Hollinghurst concluded, "It is a key national and local objective to reduce road traffic and get more people using public transport. Because HCC is the Transport Authority, I feel that the Leader of the Council should be more positive and make greater effort to ensure the people of South West Herts get this transport improvement without further delay."