Now the Government has given the green light to the Met Line extension, Hertfordshire County Council will work with partners to ensure the expected community benefits are realised.
The project will provide a London Underground rail link to central London; better rail access for more households; an improved east-west public transport connection for Watford and Croxley Green; and an important public transport link for patients and employees of the existing hospital.
And it is also predicted to create more than 9,000 new jobs and contribute more than £8 billion to the economy by 2031. By creating first class transport links to business and retail centres, the rail link will also support economic development for years to come.
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We worked long and hard to keep the Croxley Rail Link project alive and to see the realisation of this scheme after so many years is testament of the hard work and persistence of everybody involved. However, in many ways this is only the beginning and we look forward to continuing our work with Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Watford Borough Council and other partners to realise the raft of fresh opportunities this rail link will bring, including new jobs and a boost to the local economy.”
Once completed, the Croxley Rail Link will provide up to six trains an hour, linking Watford Junction and Watford High Street with London.
Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is committing £37.35m to the project, which is 40 per cent of the expected Growth Deal funding from Government. Chairman John Gourd said: “This demonstrates the huge importance that we attach to this rail link and the considerable economic benefits we believe this will bring to Watford residents, businesses and the wider community. This investment will also go a long way in helping the LEP to achieve its goal to deliver 15,000 new jobs by 2021. We have worked hard with our partners including Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council and are delighted to have now reached this exciting stage.”
Manny Lewis, Managing Director of Watford Borough Council, said: "This is fantastic news for our residents and businesses. We have worked really hard behind the scenes to help make this happen. It will bring over £1.4 billion of investment to the town, supporting our major projects like the Watford Health Campus, Watford Business Park, Ascot Road and Charter Place Shopping Centre."