Letter: Tube `depressing'

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I read with interest the experience of Dr Arthur Tarrant at Waterloo (letter, 27 October), having had a similar experience myself on the Piccadilly Line platforms and escalators at Earl's Court on 31 July.

These platforms and escalators were crammed with people, many with substantial luggage heading for Heathrow, others with children heading for the Royal Tournament. It was chaotic. There was no sign of station staff, or that the danger of the situation had been recognised.

On the contrary, an announcement was made apologising for the "inconvenience" which was "due to some customers taking it upon themselves to switch off the escalators". The escalators had indeed been switched off by incr-easingly frightened passengers.

The attitude of the station staff, when one finally did appear, seemed to be one of "what's all the fuss about?".

I wrote to London Transport expressing my concern at the way this matter had been handled, and eventually received a letter dated 2 October apologising for the delay and assuring me that "the annoyance this type of incident causes" was understood and that my letter had been passed to the Group Station Manager for Earl's Court.

I have heard nothing further.

The situation at Earl's Court had all the potential of a Hillsborough- type disaster, and I find it both lamentable and alarming that my serious complaint was trivialised as "annoyance".

AUDREY PINE

London SW10

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