A council has agreed to write to the government urging them to consider starting up the Met Line extension project again - with one councillor claiming "if we don't ask, we certainly won't get".

Three Rivers District Council will write to MP's and the Transport Secretary arguing the extension of the Met Line to Watford Junction is a "shovel ready" project.

The Met Line extension, commonly known as MLX, was a scheme to extend the Met Line all the way to Watford Junction, creating two new stations, including one in Vicarage Road.

It was a project costing more than £300 million, with funding secured from the government, Hertfordshire County Council, Watford Borough Council, and Transport for London (TfL).

Work was already underway when London mayor Sadiq Khan pulled the plug on the extension in 2018 for financial reasons, despite then Watford MP Richard Harrington securing more funding from the government.

Two years on, MLX appears to be dead in the water - but a neighbouring council is hoping to reignite the dream.

A committee agreed at a virtual meeting last week that they will write to South West Hertfordshire MP Gagan Mohindra, Watford MP Dean Russell, and the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to ask them to petition the Government to "allocate sufficient funds to restart and complete the Met Line extension".

Presenting the motion, Croxley Green Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Getkahn referred to a comment made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June where he stated plans to ‘build back better’ in the wake of coronavirus.

Cllr Getkahn said: "I don’t think there are any other projects anywhere that are so shovel ready as the Croxley rail link - in fact it started then stopped.

"We should use the influence of Gagan (Mohindra) recently promoted to private parliamentary secretary. I think it's important we go to the government and ask for that money because they are offering it.

"They are suggesting that they want shovel ready projects and I think it's important we put ourselves forward for that."

Watford Observer:

Three Rivers district councillor Peter Getkahn speaking in a policy and resources meeting earlier this month

Colleague Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who is also a county councillor in Watford, agreed.

He said in the meeting: "It (MLX) is a shovel ready project. The infrastructure is in place, much of the preparatory work has been done, all of the plans have been laid out for it. What it does require is the funding."

Cllr Giles-Medhurst suggested the idea of receiving funding may be "pie in the sky" but said: "At the very least, we should do our best for our residents and the south west Hertfordshire economy, particularly in this dire time.

"Not only would this be securing jobs and infrastructure for this part of the county but also generate revenue for TfL.

"I think we should very much be writing to the MP, Secretary of State saying look let's remind them this is a project in Hertfordshire that could deliver an awful lot of your aims and objectives and it is virtually ready to go.

"Yes it will require tweaking in terms of another transport for works act but Parliament could easily get this through. If we don’t ask we certainly won’t get."

Watford Observer:

Boris Johnson tells the nation on June 30 about plans to invest in infrastructure in the UK. Credit: PA

Conservative councillors on the committee called for Cllr Getkahn's motion to be amended to include that TfL is also written to by the council - but Cllr Getkhan indicated it was not TfL calling for these projects like the government are, and so refused the amendment.

The motion was unanimously approved.

Last week, Watford mayor Peter Taylor said Watford Borough Council is pressing for an alternative scheme to MLX that links the Met Line to Watford Junction, acknowledging that MLX had been scrapped, while a spokesperson for Dean Russell says the MP has been working for months to "explore every and any option" that would enable the Metropolitan Line Extension, or a comparable alternative, to go ahead.