Letter: Travel on the Japanese tube

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The Independent Online
Sir: Being a compatriot, I read with sympathy about the plight of Mrs Kumiko Tsuchida, the hapless Japanese teacher who inadvertently got to Torquay instead of Turkey ("Turkey trot", 21 June). But I have a different explanation of the generally maddening behaviour shown by tourists of every nationality in stations, namely, the crowd-generating nature of the London Underground itself.

As a passenger who is constantly dismayed by the tube's delays, station closures and high fares, may I make an entirely new suggestion for its improvement: why not leave the running of the network to Japanese subcontractors? Despite our propensity for appearing inscrutable, we manage this sort of thing rather better (witness the underground system in Tokyo).

So, under a Japanese management, you could kill three birds with one stone: you'd have a cleaner, more efficient tube and eventually less polluted air as people stop using their cars and you would also be able to bundle off the tourists, Japanese or not, more quickly to their "destinations", wherever they are.


London WC1