Responsibility for building two new Metropolitan line stations at Watford Junction and Watford High Street has been passed to Transport for London after the project encountered “considerable” cost overruns and delays.
The Croxley Rail Link scheme was to be overseen by Hertfordshire County Council which was working in partnership with London Underground and Network Rail.
However according to City Hall documents, the “[Department for Transport] has made it clear that, given project performance to date, it has fundamental concerns over the current HCC led delivery structure”.
The Mayor has now agreed to a DfT request that Transport for London takes over full responsibility for delivering the project which is currently estimated to cost £284m – up from an original project cost of £65m.
Under a deal agreed with ministers, TfL will be responsible for any future cost overruns but will also be able to keep any underspend should the project be delivered for less.
Work is due to start this September with the first trains running in May 2019.
Commenting following publication of our story, LU’s David Hughes said: “We have a track record for successfully delivering major projects – the recent signalling upgrade of the Northern line, which has boosted capacity by 20 per cent, being the latest example.
“Until now the Croxley Rail link project has been managed by Hertfordshire County Council, who along with Government are providing the bulk of the project funding.
“Late last year, faced with significant project slippage and cost escalation, the Government asked us to consider stepping in and taking over responsibility for delivery of the scheme. We were clear that a suitable funding package needed to be in place before we would be prepared to take this on.
“As announced in the Budget, those discussions have now concluded, and the Mayor has confirmed that LU should take on overall delivery responsibility for the project. We have agreed to contribute £16m, which is the approximate cost of the additional train services required to support the link when it opens in 2019.”