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Boris cans congestion extension

Western zone is no more

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London Mayor Boris Johnson will scrap the western extension to the congestion charge zone.

Two thirds of people and businesses which responded to a survey wanted the extension dropped. The Mayor's office received 28,000 responses and 86 per cent of businesses and 67 per cent of individuals were against it. Only 19 per cent wanted the zone kept.

But don't get too excited - the earliest possible date for actual removal of the zone is spring 2010. First there will be a 12-week "public and stakeholder consultation" starting next summer, then Transport for London will consult its stakeholders. Then the Mayor has to confirm his decision based on those consultations.

A separate survey of 2,000 Londoners and 1,000 of the capital's businesses, also carried out by Transport for London, found 41 per cent of people wanted the extension scrapped versus 30 per cent who wanted it kept. Only 15 per cent of businesses wanted it kept and half wanted it dumped.

The congestion charge zone was extended in February 2007 and aimed to reduce traffic by between 10 and 14 per cent, as well as add £30 to £50m to the mayor's coffers. It covers the area from the Westway, Earl's Court Road, the Embankment and Park Lane. ®

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