People and Business: What deadline?

IN THE good old days, a deadline was an easy concept to grasp. Nowadays you need a dictionary. The Independent pointed out on Monday that London Underground had missed a deadline of 30 April given to MPs by its chief executive for the opening of the first stage of the Jubilee Line Extension project, forging a transport link with the Millennium Dome.

Nonsense, said LU, the deadline is now "late spring". But what does that mean? A spokesman for Bechtel, the American engineering giant that has managed the project since September, was very helpful. He directed The Independent to the Oxford English Dictionary definition of spring as "frequently regarded as comprising March, April and May".