Watford Metropolitan Station will close to passengers when the Croxley Rail Link opens, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has decided.

The formal order was signed this week giving work on the £118 million project to link the Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction the go-ahead.

However, the Transport Works Act Order seals the fate of Watford Met, which will be used only as a siding station for trains when the rail link opens.

The news will come as a disappointment to residents near the station and local politicians, who have campaigned for a service to be maintained from Watford Met.

Today Watford’s MP Richard Harrington welcomed the announcement but expressed disappointment that Watford Met would be sacrificed as part of the scheme.

He said: "This announcement is hugely important for the future of the Croxley Rail Link, and in turn for the future of the town. We have been pushing for this order at the highest level for some time and I am very pleased that it now has the go ahead.

"From my regular meetings with Hertfordshire County Council and others I know how key this decision was and I am looking forward to seeing the next steps in action.

"Naturally I am very disappointed that our efforts to keep the Met station open were not successful but I do think that it has been necessary in securing the viability of the project as a whole and the benefits it will bring across the board."

Work is expected to begin on the Croxley Rail Link next year with a view to having it open by 2016.

Ecology work has already begun on the route, but the construction work could not start until the Transport Works Act Order was made.

Under the scheme the Metropolitan Line will be routed from Croxley station through two new ones in Ascot Road and Vicarage Road, then to Watford High Street Station before terminating in Watford Junction.

Elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "At last we've got the news we've been waiting decades to hear, that this exciting project will indeed happen.

"It will make a huge, positive difference to the people living in West Watford and help to rejuvenate this part of town. "I am disappointed about the closure of Cassiobury Met station - local councillors fought hard to keep it open - but considerably more people will benefit from the new station plans than from the existing rail links."

The decision comes despite a vocal campaign from residents and local politicians to keep some form of passenger service running from the station.

At a public inquiry held in June last year, bosses from London Underground made a case for closing Watford Met saying it was serving a small and dwindling number of passengers.

However residents and local politicians argued closing the station could endanger school pupils, hurt house prices and was a move biased against people in Cassiobury.

Mr Harrington added: "After decades of this project being on the table I am delighted that investment from this Government is finally making the Rail Link a reality.

"The positive impact that the Rail Link is going to have on residents and businesses in Watford cannot be underestimated and I am grateful for all the work of the DfT and TfL in this latest step."