Underground should get basics right first

So we discover that London Underground is seeking a roster of PR agencies, for activities ranging from CSR to art exhibitions, (News, page 1).

Could it be a coincidence that earlier this week we learned the Waterloo & City Line – the Square Mile's famous 'drain' – is to close for five months from 1 April (nice April Fool's joke), further raising the blood pressure of 38,000 commuters.

Apologies, but having arrived (late and stressed) in the office via the 'world's oldest metro' it is a little difficult to stay objective about LU's comms strategy.

To be fair, it has put a credible spin on the various planned closures, even getting the chairman of London Transport Users' Committee to admit there 'has to be short-term pain for long-term gain' as part of Transport for London's five-year investment programme.

But maybe LU could learn a little from private sector paragons such as Tesco. For example, giving us a better reason for massive delays than 'flooding' every time it rains reasonably hard, or the favourite 'staff shortages'. When London 2012 rolls around, the Tube will come under global scrutiny. Remember, every little helps.

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