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Metropolitan line extension funding rejected by mayor

TfL won’t stump up the extra cash needed for the Metropolitan line extension, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced.

The mayor’s office said that a review by Transport for London has estimated it would need to more than double its existing funding commitment to £73.4m, taking the scheme’s total cost to £357.8m.

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said TfL and the mayor had proposed several “pragmatic solutions” including, granting TfL access to central government development funds to cover the cost of the extension.

They added that “without a pragmatic approach from the government, the scheme cannot progress with such a huge financial risk to London taxpayers”.

Mr Khan’s office added that it was reluctant to use London taxpayers’ money to fund a project that would “benefit people outside the capital”.

The mayor’s office also attacked former mayor Boris Johnson for committing £49m of funding to the scheme “without bothering to work out how much it would cost”.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

The project will see the Metropolitan line extended at its north-west end to Watford Junction and Watford High Street stations.

Plans were initially overseen by Hertfordshire Council, with the project costed at £118m.

In 2013, the council appointed Taylor Woodrow ahead of Carillion and Bam Nuttall for the contract to design and carry out enabling works.

TfL took over the scheme from Hertfordshire Council in October 2015 and agreed a deal with the council and the Department for Transport for funding the project, the cost of which by then had increased to £280m.

In March last year, the plans were thrown into doubt after Transport for London revealed a £50m black hole in funding for the project.

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