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MP gains Government backing to look at linking Watford to Crossrail

 Published on: 7th August 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Richard Harrington MP has confirmed that the Government are looking at proposals to extend Crossrail links into Hertfordshire, which would dramatically improve links into London from Watford. The Watford MP said that he had been liaising with the Transport Secretary, Patrick Mcloughlin, on this for several months, calling for a West Coast Mainline Link into Central London via Crossrail to ease pressure on Euston Station and improve Watford’s transport links. Last week Mr Harrington received written confirmation from Mr Mcloughlin that they would look at these proposals, and that surveys would be undertaken in the next few months to look at the viability of the project. The proposal is that Watford Junction would link directly to the new Crossrail Station Old Oak Common, in West London, which would enable Hertfordshire commuters to access Central London much more quickly. The Crossrail Project is set to cost around £15bn, and is the first complete new underground line in London since the Victoria Line was built in the late 1960s. The first stage is due to open in 2018, though the link to Watford may not be open for several years. Mr Harrington added: “This is an absolutely key project which would dramatically improve our transport links and I am delighted that we are seeing some progress. I really do believe this will benefit the town and have been arguing this to the Transport Secretary, including when I bought him to Watford Junction earlier this year. “Importantly this would ease pressure on the current West Coast Main Line services into Euston which are so crowded, and it would complement the Croxley Rail Link extension which will see Met Line trains running through Vicarage and Ascot Road by 2017. Whilst this is very welcome news, especially after months of talks regarding the Link, I do feel that this adds more weight and need to completely redevelop Watford Junction and ensure it is fit for purpose both now and in the future” Mr Mcloughlin added: “We are investing record amounts to build a world-class railway, so it is vital we seize every opportunity to make the most of these once in a generation schemes. “That is why I have asked HS2 Limited to work closely with the Crossrail sponsors to look at extending Crossrail services to key destinations in Hertfordshire. I am pleased that Richard Harrington has given this his full backing, as this scheme could significantly open up transport links for Watford and I will continue to work with him as the study is undertaken over the next few months”

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