Metropolitan Line train, soon to be travelling from Watford to Aldgate

London Underground to start £284M Metropolitan Line extension next year

Construction work on the £284.23M Metropolitan Line Extension to Watford will start next year, London Underground has confirmed. Completion date for the new link will be 2020.

A full funding package has been agreed between the Department for Transport (DfT), Hertfordshire County Council and Transport for London (TfL), and the work will be delivered by LU.

Local funding amounts to £125.35M, DfT is providing £109.82M and TfL the remaining £49.23M.

By 2020 we will have built a 400m viaduct, two completely new stations and numerous new and reconstructed bridges along the route, transforming transport links in Watford" - Nick Brown, London Underground

The news was announced in the week that work started on the £1bn Northern Line Extension to Battersea with contractor Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke overseeing construction of a 300m long conveyor to take spoil to the Thames to be removed by barge.

It is claimed that over 6,500 permanent jobs and a 2bn boost to the local economy will be created by the Metropolitan Line Extension. Two new stations are to be built at Cassiobridge and Watford Vicarage Road, served by new walk-through air-conditioned trains every ten minutes to and from central London during peak hours.

The Underground will be connected to the West Coast Mainline via the station at Watford Junction, and the two new stations will also provide new connections to Watford General Hospital and new Health Campus, Croxley Business Park and Cardiff Road Industrial Estate.

The existing Watford Metropolitan station will close to the public following the opening of the new stations, but will be retained as sidings for the extended railway.

'For 100 years, the Tube has been enabling growth in 'Metro-land' and this new part of the Underground network will support further rapid development in the area. By 2020 we will have built a 400m viaduct, two completely new stations and numerous new and reconstructed bridges along the route, transforming transport links in Watford,” said LU managing director Nick Brown. “With the funding package complete we're now turning all our attention to appointing contractors, finalising designs and beginning construction in 2016.”

Derrick Ashley, Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Hertfordshire County Council is a proud partner in the development of the Metropolitan Line Extension, which will make travel in and out of central London much easier for people in Watford and the surrounding areas. The line extension, alongside development in the area, presents a raft of fresh opportunities for Hertfordshire, including the potential for thousands of new jobs and a boost to the local economy. As one of the funding partners for this project, it is positive to see this exciting project come to fruition.”

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has committed £87.85M to the new Tube link, which is 40 per cent of its total Growth Deal funding from Government. “The Metropolitan Line Extension will unlock investment in brownfield sites, revitalise existing employment areas and bring considerable job opportunities and economic benefits to Watford and the wider community. As the second largest funder this demonstrates the huge importance that we attach to this project which will help realise our priority to deliver at least 1,400 jobs in the M1/M25 area by 2021," said chairman John Gourd.

For Manny Lewis, managing director for Watford Borough Council, the extension is a key transformational project for the town . “As well as providing significantly improved transport choices for local people, the project is absolutely critical to unlocking Watford's future economic and regeneration potential,” he said.

“The extended Metropolitan Line will bring over £1.4bn of investment into the town, helping create thousands of jobs by supporting the delivery of major projects like the Watford Health Campus, Watford Business Park, Ascot Road and the redevelopment of Charter Place Shopping Centre. We have worked really hard behind the scenes with key stakeholders and funding partners to help make this happen and look forward to supporting London Underground Ltd as they work towards physically delivering the project on the ground.'

Steven Halls, Chief Executive, Three Rivers District Council, said: “The expansion of the Metropolitan line will give a powerful boost to businesses and for creating jobs in Croxley Green as well providing extra travel options for residents, reducing carbon emissions and congestion on our roads.”


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