Metro Line "Cancellation" is "Not the End of the Line" - Watford Mayor and Herfordshire Leader Rally to Defend MXL

February 3, 2018 2:44 PM

Croxley LinkRecently was announced that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had refused an offer of £73 million of funding from the government to start the Metropolitan Line Extension rail project (MLX). But now the Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, has weighed in, saying this will not be "the end of the line" for the scheme.

Dorothy said: "This is certainly not the end of the line for the MLX. "Government has committed £73million additional funding, which just goes to show how certain they are the scheme will deliver huge benefits - not just to Watford, but to Londoners and commuters."

"It's premature to say the scheme is dead and if it is purely about the cost risk we need to find a solution."

Dorothy believes the scheme has come too far to turn back now. She is determined to find a way to ensure the extension goes ahead.

This short but important stretch new railway line is not just about easier access for Londoners to Watford and the West Coast Main Line, or about easier access for family and patients to reach Watford Hospital - or even about making it easier for football fans to reach the match. It's also about a lot more. Altogether nearly 5,000 new homes are at stake. The development will release land for housing, will support the refurbishment and extension of the shopping centre and will stimulate the nearby strategic employment area.

The Watford Mayor vowed to continue working with key partners urgently in the hope that this can happen in the future.

She concluded: "Not having the MLX will cost us jobs and new investment, so there is no way I am giving this up without a fight. I am confident there is still a deal to be done."

Similarly, Cllr David Williams, the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council expressed his dismay that the Mayor of London had not committed to the project. He said, "This is hugely disappointing. It is completely at odds with the aspirations in the Mayor of London's own Draft London Plan for wider collaboration in the southeast and for a strategic approach to transport. MXL is not just about commuting into London. Residents from Northwood, Pinner and Harrow commute into Watford for jobs with employers such as KPMG and TJX Europe (parent company of T K Maxx) and to take advantage of the town's ever-improving shopping, leisure and food and beverage offers."

Cllr Nick Hollinghurst, Lib Dem County Councillor for Tring, said, "MXL is a key rail link that will make the whole of South West Hertfordshire's transport network more efficient and sustainable. We need the new homes that will come with it, the boost to the local economy and the easier access from Tring and Berkhamsted to Watford and to the Watford General Hospital."