Currybet reports on the London Phone Codes 'Changing', pointing out how it's only the introduction of some new numbers (starting 020 3-), and no actual change to the area code.
I missed the reports of this in the media, but the apparent outrage is interesting. I think a lot of it comes from the common perception that London still has two area codes: 0208 and 0207 (matching the old 0181 and 0171 codes). This is despite publicity to the contrary put out at the time of the big number change, but old habits die hard. You often see the space in the wrong place in telephone numbers on shops, letter-headings and so on. Hell, even my mobile phone displays '0208' when it detects that it's in that area.
Some of it also comes though, I suspect, from the old snobbery that 0171/0207 is better than 0181/0208, as the former is roughly inner (posh) London and the latter outer (poor) London. With 020 3- numbers being issued, this perceived divide could start to break down. It will also mean that people will be able to, and more likely to, keep their number when moving house to anywhere else within Greater London.
The move will also spell problems for O2, whose 'Business Zones' tariff has been advertised as offering '40% off all calls to your two chosen area codes', where 0208 and 0207 are counted as a zone each. No calling any new businesses then...