Passengers should be able to travel by train between Rickmansworth and Watford, a councillor has suggested.

Just three passenger trains per day connect the two Hertfordshire towns which are less than five miles apart.

A short double-track railway known as the North Curve is already in situ between Rickmansworth and Croxley stations, part of the London Underground Metropolitan Line network.

At a meeting on Tuesday, February 20, Three Rivers District Council is set to debate its position on bringing the route into regular passenger service.

A motion put forward by Conservative councillor Ciarán Reed suggests North Curve trains could link Rickmansworth with a future Watford to Croxley link.

The draft text, which is yet to be approved by the Liberal Democrat-majority council, reads: “This council recognises the importance of providing better public transport to the residents of Three Rivers as a part of providing job opportunities, access to vital services and decarbonising travel.

“This council therefore understands the need to ensure that when transport infrastructure projects are planned, they need to provide the quickest travel to the most residents possible.”

It adds the disused railway line once mooted for a Watford to Croxley Metropolitan Line extension is “underutilised”.

If it were developed in the future, “only through connecting this infrastructure project to Rickmansworth and Chorleywood would it provide the needed travel to Watford from these two locations”, the motion suggests.

“This council believes that if the North Curve track between Croxley and Rickmansworth could be used by a service as part of the Watford to Croxley link, it would significantly increase the value of the project and provide many more Three Rivers residents – and potentially residents in Buckinghamshire – access to this quicker travel to key sites in Watford, including Watford General Hospital, Watford Junction, Vicarage Road Stadium and Watford High Street,” it continues.

Cllr Reed added in the motion that new connections could “increase capacity on our roads to build resilience for when there are issues on major roads such as the M25” and “increase the speed of travel between the whole of the southwest of Three Rivers and vital services in Watford”.

If councillors approve the motion, they would instruct district leaders to write to Transport for London (TfL) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to request passenger services along the North Curve.

They would also urge leaders to open a dialogue with Hertfordshire County Council, Buckinghamshire Council, Chiltern Trains and London Northwestern Railway to develop route options.

Two passenger Metropolitan Line trains leave Rickmansworth for Watford using the North Curve on weekdays and Saturdays – departing at 5.32am and 6.08am.

A train departs Watford at 49 minutes past midnight on weekdays, bound for Rickmansworth.

A 2021 report commissioned by TfL on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council sets out a Watford to Croxley Metropolitan Line extension – passing the Vicarage Road area – “is not affordable for [the] foreseeable future”.

A London Overground spur from Watford Junction towards Vicarage Road route is likely to present “showstopper” economic risks.

Mass rapid transit schemes using bus-style vehicles are likely to come with “medium” costs which connect London Underground stations with Watford town centre using a dedicated route, but future passengers face “potential slower journey times due to congestion in Watford town centre”.