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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Madonna blasts congestion charge
Madonna
Madonna is reportedly worth 227m

London's congestion charge has come under fire from the queen of pop who claimed she cannot get a 1,000 discount without giving up her privacy.

Madonna, who is reportedly worth 227m, told chat show host Jonathan Ross that in order to qualify for a discount she would have to give her private phone number.

But Transport for London (TfL), which runs the scheme, has said Madonna does not actually need to reveal her home number.

The 5-a-day charge came into effect on 17 February and has reduced traffic in central London by about 15%.

But Madonna, who was speaking to Ross for his BBC1 show on Friday night, said she was upset she would have to pay the full annual congestion charge of nearly 1,300 for her Mini Cooper.

'Bone to pick'

Residents inside the charging area are entitled to a 90% discount if they fill out the forms with the necessary information.

"I live in the area where you are not supposed to have to pay," said Madonna.

"But now I have to pay because I don't have a listed phone number. And you have to prove where you live to the mayor - Red Ken.

"I have a bone to pick with him, because I don't want to have a listed phone number - and so I have to pay the fee to come to my house every day. It's annoying. It's the principle."

But a spokesman for TfL said: "There may be some confusion here because there just needs to be a telephone number - as far as we're aware it does not need to be a home number and we would be prepared to accept another contact number."




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