British actor Tom Conti is fighting the TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TFL) authority after he was hit with hefty fines for forgetting to pay a mandatory road congestion charge on two separate occasions.

The SHIRLEY VALENTINE star tried to pay the $9.50 (GBP5) tolls the day after he entered the charging zone in central London, but was told by TFL employees he would be fined because drivers must pay the toll on the same day.

Conti was so disgusted with the rigid ruling he refused to pay and has seen his two 'debts' rise to $597 (GBP314) and $561 (GBP295) respectively, and was told bailiffs would remove items from his north London home to cover the original charges as well as late payment penalties and administration costs.

The 63-year-old fumes, "In no other walk of life are the consequences so steep just for momentarily forgetting to pay GBP5. It is out of proportion to any alleged offence and it is so easy to forget on the day.

"With TFL they have made it as difficult as they can to pay and when you do try to pay they say 'No thanks' and take you to the law instead."

21/01/2005 17:51