It would appear that with costs having spiralled out of control, the controversial Metropolitan Line Extension has hit the buffers once again.
Despite a pledge by Watford MP Richard Harrington to fill the £73 million funding gap, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has finally pulled the plug on the £360 million scheme, declaring it not to be a strategic priority for London.
Watford mayor Dorothy Thornhill has also vowed not to give up on The project which has been on the drawing board for 20 years or more but in truth it’s hardly surprisingly that this project was not regarded as a strategic priority for London.
The plan was to divert the Watford branch of the Metropolitan Line away from the existing Watford Met Station (which would be closed), situated next to one of the entrances to Cassiobury Park to go via Cassiobridge (Ascot Road) and Vicarage Road to to join up with The London overground line at Watford High Street and finally connect to Watford Junction.
Arguably this was quite futile as the London overground and London Midland service already connect Euston to Watford Junction providing stopping and fast services respectively. The link would provide better access to Watford town centre for people living near stations at the northern end of the Watford branch like Moor Park, Northwood and Pinner But no one in their right mind would call that a strategic benefit and, if it where important, a frequent hopper bus from the existing Watford Met to the town centre would do the job at a fraction of the cost and there were always cheaper alternatives.
Naturally mayor Dorothy Thornhill will be up in arms that the failure of link will leave a number of Watford housing developments and the Health Campus high and dry but for now the thousands of people who signed our petition to save Watford Met station can breathe a sigh of relief that their journeys for work, school and leisure are no longer under threat… until the next time maybe!