Johnson in transport funding call

Mayor of London Boris Johnson called on the Government to protect transport investment in the capital - on the same day he confirmed plans to axe the western extension of the congestion charge zone in the city.

A transport strategy for the city, published by Johnson last week, said: "Having listened to public opinion, (the mayor) proposes to remove the western extension (of) the central London congestion charge scheme."

The zone brings in about £70 million a year in vehicle charges and a public consultation on the logistics of scrapping the area's charging powers is expected to be unveiled at the end of May.

Johnson, however, wrote to the Guardian on the same day his document was unveiled and demanded that "vital investment" in London's transport system is maintained by the new Liberal-Conservative administration.

Richard Hebditch, campaigns director at lobby group Campaign for Better Transport, said: "It is surprising that, while the mayor is campaigning for extra funding from central government, he is pushing ahead with trying to remove one of his own major income streams."

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