Politicians from two parties are calling for the Metropolitan Line Extension to go ahead - despite last month’s shock rejection from the Mayor of London.

An emergency cross-party motion has been tabled for Hertfordshire County Council’s budget council on February 20 in a bid to show there is still political support for the project is still ongoing.

The motion has been agreed with the Conservative leader of the council, David Williams, and Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

The plug was pulled on the scheme last month despite additional government funding of almost £74m.

The motion reads: “This council is dismayed at the decision of the Mayor of London to withdraw support for the project being led by Transport for London to extend the Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction on the basis that it cannot accept future cost risk.”

County council leader David Williams said: “The Metropolitan Line Extension has been a long standing ambition for Hertfordshire County Council and is vital to the delivery of Watford’s Local Plan and the associated development and growth in this corridor.

“The county council, Hertfordshire LEP and Watford Borough Council have worked hard over the years to develop the scheme and in 2015 the then London Mayor, Boris Johnson, agreed to deliver it.

"However, current Mayor Sadiq Khan has made clear that he will not now deliver the scheme even though additional funding of £73.4m was made available by Government. This is a great disappointment to the local partners.”

Cllr Giles-Medhurst, who also represents central Watford and Oxhey, believes that if TfL “does not want to deliver it perhaps it should be opened to market to do so”.

He said: “It seems totally crazy with the all the money being in place and TfL now planning to fund step-free access at underground stations in Hertfordshire such as Rickmansworth and probably Croxley that the MLX would not back a scheme that would reduce congestion and provide long term revenue for them.

“We just cannot understand Mayor Khan’s approach over this.”

However, Watford Labour group has since said Mayor Khan made a number of proposals that would have enabled the scheme to go ahead.

The Watford Observer has seen letters from Mayor Khan to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in December 2017, which mentioned he was "keen to see this project delivered".

Mike Jackson, chairman of Watford Labour Party said: “The letters show that Sadiq Khan was negotiating in good faith and we urge Chris Grayling to re-open negotiations to bring this scheme to fruition.

"Having already spent £130 million of taxpayers money, including £10 million from Watford, it is vital that everyone gets round the table to negotiate an agreement that allows the Metropolitan Line extension to go ahead.”

Mr Harrington responded: “Hugely disappointed in Sadiq Khan, we’ve given him everything he’s asked for and more, but he’s just not interested.

"Not only did I secure nearly £200 million from Government, but he was also promised control of the tracks, air rights and will pocket all the revenue from the ticket sales.

"I will continue to fight him on this, and have started a petition which I’m encouraging local residents to sign.”

Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, said: “Richard Harrington has championed the Metropolitan Line Extension for years and he secured the funds for it to go ahead.

"It is hugely disappointing that the labour mayor won’t deliver on his election promises even with the additional money Richard has secured from government.”

A spokesperson for Mayor Khan said: “This scheme is outside London – so London taxpayers are being asked to pay for a scheme that will benefit people outside the capital. The previous Mayor committed £49 million of London taxpayers’ money to delivering Metropolitan Line extension without bothering to work out how much it would cost. At the same time he agreed that TfL would take all the risk of any additional costs.

“Following a detailed review, TfL estimate that they would need to more than double the funding commitment they have already made to complete the extension. The final cost would be £73.4m higher than the current funding package, with a considerable risk that it could rise even further. 

“The Mayor and TfL have proposed several pragmatic solutions, including TfL having access to development proceeds to cover these additional costs. Without a pragmatic approach from the Government, the scheme cannot progress with such a huge financial risk to London taxpayers.  

“This is yet another example of the incompetent and chaotic approach the previous Mayor took to infrastructure projects – with London taxpayers being asked to pay for a scheme that will benefit people outside the capital.”

Sign Mr Harrington’s petition here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/metlineextension