Crossrail delays could cost Transport for London £600m, a new report by credit rating agency Moody’s has warned.
The revenue shortfall, which the agency expected to peak in 2021, will put a “significant” strain on the body and could see it lose its operating surplus.
The holes in TfL’s figures comes as the National Audit Office launched an investigation into conduct at Crossrail and how the project has been hit with a significant overspend and delays.
Last month a London Assembly report estimated that Transport for London will miss out on around £210m of revenue due to the delayed opening of Crossrail.
Moody’s expects a further £400m will be lost in 2021 on top of the £210m identified.
Its vice-president and co-author of the report Zoe Jankel said: “Crossrail’s delayed opening is one of a number of budgetary challenges that Transport for London is facing.
“We expect that the most significant impact of the Crossrail delay will be in the 2021 fiscal year, with a revenue shortfall of around £400m and a loss of operating surplus.
“Overall, we expect that TfL will be able to manage the impact of the delay using its available resources and spending flexibility. However, this will weaken its ability to cope with any other unforeseen costs or revenue shortfalls.”
According to Moody’s, the Elizabeth line, as the completed Crossrail project will be called, is expected to contribute 14 per cent of TfL’s passenger income by fiscal year 2023, and 12 per cent of its total operating income.
In July, the government announced that the overall funding for the project had increased by £590m to £15.4bn, with the additional cash needed to complete remaining work on its central section.
The nine-month delay to Crossrail’s opening was confirmed at the end of August, which CN revealed was driven by delays to the fit-out of its new central stations and tunnels.
And in October, Crossrail was given an extra £350m loan by the government to support construction and testing work.