The legal process requires the Mayor to hold a 12-week public and stakeholder consultation, which will take place in summer 2009. Once this is completed, Transport for London will run its own public consultation before the scheme is totally scrapped, at the earliest in spring 2010.

“The majority of people have said that they would like the scheme scrapped,” said Johnson. “As a Mayor who keeps its promises I am instructing Transport for London to begin work on the process of a formal consultation on the removal of the western extension.”

A spokesman for the Mayor said he anticipated the removal of the western extension could have a knock-on affect on the central zone. “One could speculate it could reduce traffic in the centre,” he said. This would be because of the probable removal of the 90 per cent discount on the £8 charge for residents living within the extension zone.”