ERTA Fresh Vision for Watford and Hertfordshire Rail Public Transport
ERTA Nationwide is a voluntary pro-public transport group which started originally in Bedfordshire in 1997 and has mushroomed in reach and range to apply principles on coherent networks and foster conditions of access and service to suite a wide and diverse range of customers – passenger and freight by rail, unblocking our roads and improving air quality we all have to breathe! You are welcome to peruse these suggested ideas and let us know which ones you particularly welcome or provide us any other feedback. We do have Watford Forums and if interested in coming along to discuss transport matters, please contact our Hertfordshire Area Rep, Mr Michael Hustwait, 52 Eastfield Avenue, Watford, WD24 4HJ, T. 01923 350726
Would you support…
A North-East curve at Watford Junction off the slow lines to the Abbey Branch for direct running with a triangulated platform to enable more and diverse reaches and ranges of services? Homebase has/is closing and curve could be put underneath to ease curvature.
Benefits are seen as:
- direct running from Bedford, Milton Keynes and/or West Coast Main Line (WCML)/Midland Main Line (MML) Open Access (where a variety of operators run trains not just one or two Franchises like Virgin and London Midland); the model has worked on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) out of Kings Cross.
Moreover, if HS2 is to cater for more WCML capacity – then it could inform a more diverse mix of paths for a variety of Open Access reaches and ranges.
- The direct curves and platform could provide off main line wait-over with Specials visiting the North Hertfordshire Central belt area as a destination in itself to explore, St Albans Cathedral and Sport events for example. Parked on second refurbished (needed) bay and upgraded facilities at Abbey ‘out of the Cinderella Syndrome’.
- That the Croxley Link is a welcome thing and will bring the Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction.
- That Extra bay and track could be bolted on over the bus area front of Junction, tower demolished/ relocated for more capacity and current twin bays extended to form second and longer baying capacity plush with down fast platform interface.
- Watford West should not close because: a. More and overflow capacity, b. Increasing demand and capacity overflow for Watford residential specific audiences with better bus links from it
- Could be extended in tunnel ‘metro-style’ to town centre/North High Street sub-surface station and onto integrated Abbey Line – that second platform and baying. Open Access and other operators could be invited to run services to it for example, allowing Chiltern Trains to run a Aylesbury-Watford local service (A41 corridor end to end) via the North-East curve south of Amersham as well as an Aylesbury centred Milton Keynes-Aylesbury-Watford loop service and Marylebone-Watford Met and/or Junction, bringing competition in fares and choice of services for commute and wider tourist access around the Chilterns.
- Chiltern Trains could approach Watford Junction and/or West via new Croxley link and could alternate services with the two termini.
- Abbey Station, St Albans: A new Park-and-Ride Station on the Midland Main Line South of St Albans (Napsbury) could also have a new double triangle of lines to enable:
- St Albans City-Bricket Wood-Watford direct (Luton-Watford) which could be Thameslink/Other Operator/Open Access shared, bringing choice, frequency and lowering costs.
- Northern Line extension from Barnet to an M25 Junction with associated interchange Park and Ride Station-London Colney – Napsbury, with a new depot and terminus reception alongside the main line new station.
- An arm could dive under Midland Main Line to terminate on reopened and upgraded station access facilities at the Abbey Station.
- These arrangements would also allow more freight by rail potentially and decluttering of local roads, reductions in emissions harmful to human lungs, (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/29/diesel-engine-pollution-premature-deaths-costs-nhs-billions), exacerbated by congestion emitting exhausts going nowhere fast whilst the health of the nation suffers as locked-in lack of road-exhaust choice becomes self-destructive as a dependent lifestyle through a lack of modal choice in many cases outside M25 London cordons.
- Extend the Northern Line from Edgware to Watford Junction via Stanmore, Bushey, Croxley Link-Watford Met and via a new tunnel and loop, Junction Metro sub-surface and back, serving both ends of Watford High Street with new subsurface metro style stations underground, bringing the Tube to Watford ‘full bodied’ and distributing people around the main places the area boasts.
People have been locked-in too long, we must have a comprehensive public transport solution to give real, objective and diverse choice and open up this historical corridor to footfall and spend. This would make more of the location in its own right as a place for interested visitors; bolstering localism and pride.
What you can do: If you agree with any or all of what we are expressing here you can:
- Let us know which suggestions listed here you particularly welcome or provide us with any other feedback, please see Contact Us page. We do have Watford Forums and if interested in coming along to discuss transport matters, please contact our Hertfordshire Area Rep, Mr Michael Hustwait, 52 Eastfield Avenue, Watford, WD24 4HJ, T. 01923 350726
- Join ERTA – every member helps make us a louder shout for more of what we may wish for. Please see Membership page for more information.
- Offer time and talent – if you want to get involved we have volunteer opportunities and whilst we welcome reliability and enthusiasm, we welcome any special focus’ or skills. Please see Get Involved (Volunteering) page for more information.