Crossrail off the tracks as plans are shelved

Plans to link to Tring to a major cross-country rail network have been shelved by the government.

In a letter to Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning, former transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the scheme has been pulled because it represented “poor overall value for money to the taxpayer”.

Although the letter explicitly mentions Tring, Mr Penning said he was trying to find out what it meant for other stops along the line.

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The news comes as a blow to commuters, who thought the extension would take the pressure off the line into Euston during the construction of the HS2 high-speed rail link.

One London worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We already have to put up with expensive, overcrowded trains that are frequently delayed or cancelled.

“If HS2 goes ahead, Euston station will be a building site for many years, adding to our daily misery.

“That’s why I, and many of my fellow commuters, welcomed the proposals to extend Crossrail to Tring.

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“This decision to shelve the plans without any publicity feels like another kick in the teeth for hard-pressed rail travellers.

“I only hope that there will be a re-think once ministers grasp the enormous scale of disruption that HS2 will cause at Euston.”

The move would have meant trains to Heathrow terminals 1, 2 and 3 from Hemel Hempstead, with a change at Old Oak Common, as well as services to Bond Street and Farringdon running from Tring.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “A review of the business case for this extension has been explored and concluded the cost currently does not represent good value for money.

“However, the Metropolitan Line will be extended to Watford Junction by 2020 and will allow trains to run to central London every 10 minutes in peak hours.”