Letter: Tube a key test for Labour

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Tube a key test for Labour

Sir: Resolution of the London Underground's problems will be a test of this government's courage and competence. We seem afraid to speak against this prime example of public squalor vs private affluence. pounds 27m is needed for track maintenance this year; half that is won by individuals in the National Lottery. pounds 1.7bn is required to bring the whole system up to scratch; over pounds 200bn is invested in private cars alone, and pounds 20bn will be spewed out from the flotation of the mutual companies.

I can think of no better project to celebrate the millennium than to bring our public transport system up to date. We would remember our past ingenuity, provide a real cause for celebration and help to counter the grotesque financial and health costs of private road transport. There is a lot of money washing about. Can we not be enabled to buy bonds in public transport systems which pay a small interest and be redeemable after say a minimum of 10 years?

DAVID S HALPIN

Newton Abbot, Devon

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