London Underground is considering technology that would allow passengers to make calls on the Tube
NO

MIKE CALDWELL

Vodafone Airtouch

The style of life and etiquette in our society has changed and is changing to such an extent that we don't need mobile-free zones. The ones on the trains were introduced in the early days when people felt they had to shout down the phone to be heard or because they wanted to be noticed. But things have moved on and most people now lower their voices. There are limited safety circumstances when mobiles should be banned, but in social situations it's more about educating users to be thoughtful. As mobiles become a mass market product people are gradually getting the message that you have to have consideration for others. All networks now have message services so there is no need to leave your phone on and if you have a vibrating phone you're the only one who knows its ringing.

YES

MIKE CARROLL

First Great Western Trains

We have been restricting mobile phone use on all our trains in one standard and one first class carriage for about three years. The stimulus came from our customers, who are mainly long-distance inter-city business travellers. Mobiles are very popular with them, but they also want some quiet to work or relax. The system is self-policing and at the beginning some people disagreed with the ban and ignored it, but the other customers soon point it out. Personally I would always opt to travel in a mobile-free carriage, you definitely notice the difference on long journeys as you don't get the frequent ringing tones. Having some "quiet coaches" seems to have solved the conflicting needs of our customers.

FIONA SHAW

Regional sales manager

I don't see why I shouldn't get phone calls wherever I choose to be, so long as its unobtrusive. Obviously you can't use them in hospitals, which I visit for work, but apart from that I always have my phone on. My clients know they can always reach me and I get work calls in the evenings when I'm at the pub or in a restaurant. Friends know I'm always available. I think it's important to have a phone from a safety point of view if I'm out alone. It acts like a security blanket. I agree that some of the ringing sounds are appalling, but with the new vibrating phones people don't have to hear a thing. If people use an ear piece it's hard to tell they are on the phone, which makes me wonder how they would enforce a mobile-free zone. If people use them discreetly - how will they know?

YES

REV IAN GREGORY

Campaign for Courtesy

I'm very much in favour of mobile phone-free zones. I'd happily pay extra to travel in a phone-free carriage, for example. Talking on mobiles can be very intrusive, they invade your space if you're thinking and wake you if you're trying to sleep. A mobile phone makes people unaware of what is going on around them, they get wrapped up in what they are saying and sometimes use bad language that offends people. We don't all want to hear their conversation. But mobiles do have a funny side. People walking down the street gesticulating and having a frenzied conversation with someone they can't see strikes me as a terrific argument for the power of prayer. I've heard of one burial where the deceased's mobile started ringing from his coffin. Hilarious.

EMMA OWENS

City secretary

I don't think mobile phones should be banned unless you're somewhere like a hospital or an airplane. I've needed to use my phone on trains and I don't mind other people doing so as long as it doesn't affect me. I don't use my phone much for social calls, I'm on a pay-as-you-go tariff, I have it for emergencies and security. But I still think people should be able to chat on the phone in the street or on the bus and in social situations - it doesn't bother me. Generally people are quite polite and I haven't been affected by anything I've overheard. You get a bit of swearing and the odd argument. I used to work in Kent and you definitely notice fewer people using mobiles outside London. It's more restricted to people in pubs. London is more buzzing and I like that.

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