Letter: Tube `depressing'

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The Independent Culture
Tube `depressing'

Sir: During the last four months I have had occasion to use, with sufficient regularity to form a view, the underground train systems of London, New York, Madrid, Paris and San Francisco.

There is no doubt that of these London is the most expensive, London trains are by far the filthiest, and London is the most unreliable. It also seems to me that there is more conspicuous over-manning in London than anywhere else.

To compound this depressing picture is the feeling that, despite the boastful publicity about increased capital spending, there is no real prospect that things will improve in London until those who really can influence the situation are forced to rely at all times on the system for getting around the capital.

It seems to me that the way New York has transformed itself in recent years, by the issue of public bonds to raise private money without passing up its public ownership, is so obviously the model which should be followed here.

ROBERT NELSON

London E1

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