A St Albans politician said the Abbey Line should be included in new proposals to extend Crossrail.

St Albans Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Sandy Walkington has welcomed the government’s announcement that Crossrail might be extended through Watford to Berkhamsted, Hemel and Tring.  

Councillor Walkington said the St Albans Abbey Line was the "missing link" in the project.

He said: "Obviously there are lots of issues to consider before this idea can come to fruition.

"I hope that the Abbey Line will be put into the mix.  For far too long it has been the unloved Cinderella of Hertfordshire’s railways.  

"With this proposal for an ultra-fast rail connection into London from Watford and the imminent completion of the Croxley Link connection into north-west London, the Abbey Line is the missing piece of the jigsaw.  

"The long sought upgrades to the line and particularly the reconstruction of the passing loop at Bricket Wood would permit more frequent services. It could be just the ticket to take the pressure off Thameslink - and provide a real alternative route into London when needed."

A feasibility study into the new proposals has been launched, which involve running the new Crossrail line through Watford to link the station to Old Oak Common.

If it goes ahead, journey times would be reduced by 13 minutes to Liverpool Street and 12 minutes to Canary Wharf from Watford Junction.

Transport minister Patrick Mcloughlin said: "We are investing record amounts to build a world-class railway, so it is vital we seize every opportunity to make the most of these once in a generation schemes.

"That is why I have asked HS2 Limited to work closely with the Crossrail sponsors to look at extending Crossrail services to key destinations in Hertfordshire."