Transport for London will miss out on around £210m of revenue due to the delayed opening of Crossrail, a London Assembly report has revealed.
Lost revenue from passenger fares and advertising on the delayed Elizabeth line will be between £200m and £210m, according to TfL’s own estimates.
Around £20m will be missed out on during the current financial year to in April, with a further £180m-£190m lost in the following 12 months.
The line had been scheduled to open in December 2018 but this was pushed back to autumn 2019. An extra £940m in funding and loans has also been committed by government to get the line finished.
A spokesman for TfL said a five-year business plan outlining how it would mitigate the financial hit from the delay would be published before the end of the year.
The loss in revenue has heaped further pressure on the finances of the capital’s public transport operator, which is forecast to make a £1bn operating loss for this year, the London Assembly said.
In a report released today, TfL finance: The end of the line?, the assembly budget and performance committee warned that the capital’s transport operator had “some way to go to become a sustainable public body”.
More damaging than the lost Crossrail funding was the withdrawal of £700m of central government subsidies, which TfL called a “difficult challenge”.
On top of this a four-year freeze in fares introduced by mayor Sadiq Khan when he took power in 2016 has effectively forgone a £640m in additional income.
Funding of roads under TfL’s control also concerned the assembly.
TfL is responsible for the capital’s ‘red routes’, which account for 5 per cent of London’s road network but carry 30 per cent of the traffic, at an average annual loss of £172m.
The committee’s report called for a portion of vehicle excise duty collected by central government to be given to TfL. The operator currently receives no central government funding for roads.
The assembly’s report gave credit to TfL’s cost-cutting measures that are forecast to save £1.2bn by 2022/23.
However, it urged greater transparency on how cuts to bus services, suspension of proactive maintenance on the roads, and the cancellation or deferral of some tube improvements was expected to affect services.
TfL’s spokesman said the operator was tapping new revenue streams, notably through property development; was cutting costs to deal with the withdrawal in government grants; and was working towards generating an operating surplus.