Met Line Extension

Meeting: 
MQT on 2018-02-22
Session date: 
February 22, 2018
Reference: 
2018/0575
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

A number of my Harrow residents and a well-recognised Public Transport Users lobby group are deeply disappointed that you refused the Government's £73 million to help extend the Metropolitan Line. I know that TfL has said that a "detailed review" had been carried and it resulted in the matter being deemed unfit for continuation.

I understand that a bus route has been considered but it is not a definite and comparable alternative to the Metropolitan line. Are you able to let me know what is the latest on this? Also, I would strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this and not lose the opportunity to extend the line going through and serving my Borough.

Answer

Answer for Met Line Extension

Answer for Met Line Extension

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I recognise the transport and housing benefits the Metropolitan Line Extension would bring to the Watford area and beyond. This is why I presented to Government a practical proposal to resolve the scheme's funding gap and cost risk.

My offer for Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the scheme, if costs beyond TfL's previously agreed £49m contribution can be met, still stands. While the Government's commitment to cover the existing funding gap is welcome, TfL is still being asked to commit to pay for any further increased costs. Given the history of cost increases on this scheme, TfL cannot sign up for this cost risk without access to a potential income stream to cover any additional costs. I have therefore asked Government to consider how the cost risk could be covered as it would be unfair for Londoners to be asked to bear the brunt of any such increases for a scheme that lies outside its boundaries.

If an income stream to cover any additional costs cannot be made available to TfL, it is difficult to see how the scheme can progress in its current form. A Bus Rapid Transit scheme is one of the alternatives being explored, either from Croxley to Watford Junction or reaching further beyond Watford. Such a scheme would have the potential to be considerably cheaper than an extension to the Metropolitan line and could provide the opportunity to develop and trial the latest technologies. It also has the potential to deliver improved transport connections through integration with the London Underground network and the Oyster fares structure. If this alternative can be taken forward, I will ask TfL to lead on the scheme, working closely with Hertfordshire County Council.