Regular readers of my columns in the My Local News magazines will know of my campaign for a direct service from Amersham to Watford once the Metropolitan Line Extension (the ‘MLE’, formerly known as the Croxley Rail Link) is completed.
This would enable trains to run from Chorleywood and Rickmansworth through to Croxley Station and then on to the new Watford stations on the Metropolitan Line without having to travel to Moor Park and change branches.
However, first we need to ensure that the MLE is completed. Concerns have been raised following the publication of Transport for London’s business plans which do not mention the MLE.
It is worth remembering the history of this project. It has had the backing of the County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership for some time. But with cost overruns, the project looked at risk until TfL agreed to take charge in 2014, using their project-management expertise and agreeing to underwrite any further unexpected costs.
Work was due to have got underway last year but there have been further delays. Now the absence of any inclusion within TfL’s plans has resulted in reports that the MLE is in trouble.
I have spoken to the Transport Secretary (who backs the MLE) and, along with Watford MP Richard Harrington, have written to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, lobbying for the project to be completed.
The MLE brings benefits for London and Hertfordshire and I am sure that Sadiq would not want it thought that parts of the Underground network would be disadvantaged because they are outside London. There is now some uncertainty about the MLE but I will be doing all I can to make sure it happens.