Watford tube station
Location of Watford in Hertfordshire
|Managed by||London Underground|
|Number of platforms||2|
|London Underground annual entry and exit|
|14 November 1966||Goods yard closed4|
|Lists of stations|
The station is on Cassiobury Park Avenue, at the junction with Metropolitan Station Approach, in the Cassiobury area of Watford. It is close to two of the entrances to Cassiobury Park. Despite the name suggesting a central location, it is some distance from Watford town centre compared with the town's other stations, Watford High Street and Watford Junction. It is known locally as "Watford Met" to distinguish it from these and the other Watford stations, which are operated by National Rail. The red-brick station building was designed by Charles Walter Clark.
It is the 25th most lightly used station on the London Underground network, on 2010 data.5
Watford station opened on 4 November 1925, as part of the extension of the line from Moor Park, with electrical supply from the Metropolitan Railway, and a train service from the Great Central Railway to Marylebone operating in the first few months.
Although it is the terminus of the branch, it was not planned as such, with an extension to the town centre (Watford Central station) envisaged but never constructed. The original Watford Central station building was in Watford High Street, opposite the junction with Clarendon Road, and has known many guises. In the 1950s this was the Grange Furniture Store and the original Underground station canopy was still in evidence.6 A J D Wetherspoon pub, The Moon Under Water, now occupies the building. For many years, a bus service ran from Watford station to the High Street.
For many years, a short branch line from Watford Junction ran to a station near Watford, Croxley Green, though passenger usage was low, and freight usage negligible. In 1996, services were withdrawn, and the stations closed.
The disused line comes very close to the Metropolitan Line south of Watford and it was often proposed that there should be a short viaduct to link the two lines to create a through route from the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction. On 14 December 2011 the Department of Transport announced that the Croxley Rail Link would proceed, at an expected cost of £115.9m and completion date of January 2016.7
The London TravelWatch Board set up the Watford Station Closure Panel with three members: David Liebling, the vice chair of TravelWatch and the representative for London on the Board of Passenger Focus; Gail Engert, chair of the Transport Services Committee of TravelWatch; and David Barry, chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee of TravelWatch. The panel held a public meeting in Watford on 14 June 2012.8910 Their report was published on 28 August 2012.11 The main findings and recommendations from the report were:
- The closure of Watford station will result in hardship to some existing passengers but this will be largely alleviated by the implementation of the Croxley Rail Link project that will provide two new accessible stations giving access to the Metropolitan line. LUL have stated that any closure of Watford station would not take place until the proposed Croxley Rail Link project is operational.
- For about half of existing passengers there will be a longer walking journey to the proposed new stations, but this additional walk will be short for most. Only a small number of existing passengers will have longer than a 15 minute additional journey but a requirement for Hertfordshire County Council to make pedestrian and cycling route improvements and provide a bus service between the Cassiobury Park area and the new stations for a period of three years would reduce this hardship.
- London TravelWatch recommends that a discretionary fare is agreed, for a limited time period, to allow the small group of passengers who, in the event of closure of Watford Station, would have to either walk to the new fare zone 7 stations or pay the additional fare from Watford High Street and Watford Junction stations, to use the Metropolitan line at London fare zone 7 levels.
- London TravelWatch also believes that there is a business case for a Croxley Rail Link that retains Watford station as part of a split service, albeit with fewer overall benefits than LUL’s preferred option. The Closure Panel recommends that a trial split service is trialled, serving both Watford and Watford Junction stations, to determine the real passenger numbers and issues involved with the running of a split service serving both Watford and Watford Junction stations prior to a final decision on the closure of Watford station. The trial could last for two years from the opening of the Croxley Rail Link to 2018 when the new signalling is due to be completed on the Metropolitan line when there will, presumably, be a major re-timetabling programme.
As of December 2011[update] the typical off-peak service is four trains per hour between Watford and Baker Street during off-peak periods. At peak times there is a limited through service to Aldgate.12
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Watford tube station|
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2007". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2008". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2009". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Hardy, Brian, ed. (March 2011). "How it used to be - freight on The Underground 50 years ago". Underground News (London Underground Railway Society) (591): 175–183. ISSN 0306-8617.
- "The proposed closure and discontinuance of services to and from Watford station". 28 August 2012. p. 7. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Klapper, Charles F. (1976). London's Lost Railways. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 3. OCLC 487714609.
- London TravelWatch (14 June 2012). "The proposal to close Watford station". Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Transport bosses hear arguments to keep Watford Met station open". Watford Observer. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "London TravelWatch produces report for Mayor of London on proposed closure of Watford station". London TravelWatch. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Watford Tube Guide". TfL. Retrieved 31 December 2011.