The final funding is now in place for Croxley Rail Link after Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership agreed to provide an additional £37.35m from its Growth Deal, on top of the £50.5m it has already allocated.
Hertfordshire LEP and Hertfordshire County Council have received grant letters confirming Department for Transport (DfT) funding for the construction of the £284.4m Croxley Rail Link.
The DfT £109.8m funding sign-off was received following a decision by Hertfordshire LEP to provide an additional £37.35m for Croxley Rail Link from its Growth Deal, on top of the £50.5m it has already allocated to the project. This brings its total to £87.85m and makes Hertfordshire LEP the second largest funder for the project. This now completes the funding package comprising £46.5m from London Underground, £30.5m from Hertfordshire County Council, £9.6m from Watford Borough Council and £109.8m from DfT.
Hertfordshire LEP chairman John Gourd said: “We are committing 40 per cent of the total funding we are due to receive from Government through our Growth Deal to Croxley. 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.”
Work to re-route London Underground's Metropolitan line to Watford Junction for the Croxley Rail Link is expected to start later this year. The rail link is predicted to create over 9,000 new jobs and contribute over £8 billion to the economy by 2031. Once completed, the Croxley Rail Link will provide up to six trains an hour, linking Watford Junction and Watford High Street with London.
Benefits of the rail link include:
• A London Underground rail link to central London for all Watford's residents, which will also supplement existing passenger services from Watford Junction and Watford High Street. On completion of the rail link, up to 16 trains an hour will link the town with London.
• Approximately 2,700 net additional households will fall within an 800m catchment area of a station.
• An improved east-west public transport connection for Watford, Rickmansworth and Croxley Green, which also helps reduce the strain on Watford’s busy road network.
• The provision of an important public transport link for patients and employees of the existing Watford General Hospital and the under-construction Watford Health Campus.
• The rail link will support economic development in Watford and its surrounding areas by providing improved transport links to business and retail centres.
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."
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.”
Hertfordshire County Council, which is leading a consortium of local funding partners, will act as ‘co-ordinator’ for the local project contributions and will continue to make progress on preliminary works for the rail link before London Underground begins the line’s construction.
The planned route begins at a new junction near Baldwins Lane, about a kilometre north-east of Croxley station. A 400m new viaduct will take the line over the Watford Road dual carriageway and the Grand Union Canal on to the currently disused Croxley Green branch line track bed to Watford High Street and Watford Junction.
Further information about the scheme can be found at www.croxleyraillink.com.