Revealed: the £200m cost of Crossrail delay

The Crossrail delay will cost Transport for London almost £200 million next year in lost revenue, the Standard has learned.

Latest calculations suggest the expected nine-month delay to the completion of the Elizabeth Line, first revealed in August, will cost the cash-strapped body almost £550,000-a-day. 

TfL, which has a deficit of around £1bn, has told the London Assembly it will miss out on £170million income from passenger fares and up to £20million in advertising revenue. 

This comes on top of the £20million in lost fares for this financial year disclosed by TfL commissioner Mike Brown when the delay was confirmed.

The £15billion project will miss its planned December launch date with opening pushed back until next autumn to complete construction and testing in central tunnels between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

The high-speed east-west link from Reading to Shenfield is already £600million over budget and the Government last month announced a further £350million loan to complete the final phases.

Gareth Bacon, chairman of the London Assembly’s budget committee, said the lost income resulting from the delay would be a “game changer” in TfL’s attempt to turnaround its finances.

He told the Standard: “TfL’s position is unsustainable if it carries on as it is.”

He added: “The £200million figure is what they forecast in their now out-of-date business plan as the net increase in revenue. Now that is massively in jeopardy. They won’t achieve it.”

TfL is running at a deficit of £1billion for 2018/19, which Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has partially blamed on Mayor Sadiq Khan’s four-year Tube fares freeze.

A TfL spokesman said the removal of TfL’s £700million operational subsidy coupled with the “subdued economy” presented “difficult challenges” but it had made £500million in savings this year and was working towards an operating surplus.

He said: “Our five-year business plan to be published by the end of the year will describe how we will manage the financial impact of the delay to the Elizabeth line while continuing to improve transport for everyone in London.”

Read more news of London on our site.

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