Crossrail delay to mount up £200m in lost TfL revenue, London Assembly says

Costs incurred by the lengthy delay to London’s Crossrail project could cost Transport for London (TfL) over £200m in lost revenue, London’s financial watchdog has revealed.

In a report released this week, the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee, assessing TfL’s finances, said TfL “has already maxed out its corporate credit card” to keep the project going to March 2019, with around 10% of the lost revenue being missed out on between now and April.

Calculations made by the London Assembly will cost the financially-challenged TfL almost £550,000 a day, rounding out to between £200m and £210m, adding to its already high £1bn deficit.

It is believed that the jarring figure will be on top of an already predicted lost £20m in fares for the financial year, which was confirmed by commissioner for TfL Mike Brown when the delay was first announced. Just last month, Crossrail was handed a £350m lifeline to prevent further delays for the project.

In the damning report ‘TfL finance: The end of the line?’, the committee argued that TfL “clearly has some way to go” before they can become a sustainable public body, and that the Crossrail saga rolling into next year and beyond will make TfL’s job “that much harder.”

Chair of the committee Gareth Bacon wrote: “If this has been difficult to write, imagine how difficult it must be for TfL to plan ahead. We now have fresh information about what the Crossrail delay will cost TfL – almost £200m in 2019-20 in lost passenger fares and advertising revenue.

“What we do know is that TfL has already maxed out its corporate credit card just to keep the project going to March 2019. What really surprised us was to hear that TfL hasn’t even thought about a second fares freeze yet. Freezing fares is a political choice and any mayor is entitled to freeze fares. But Londoners need to know what they are committing to first, and that means how much it will cost.”

In an interview with RTM last month, London Assembly transport committee chair Caroline Pidgeon said a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation should “absolutely” be launched if delay allegations are true. Pidgeon also urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to restore confidence in Crossrail with “fresh management” of the £15.4bn project.

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