DIARY: Chirpy tube tone, an abbreviation too far and terrible train torments

Pity the station announcers who work on London's tube, struggling to disseminate groaning in-trays of bad news to a grumpy public. Their latest strategy seems to be to adopt an almost absurdly optimistic tone, whatever the latest evidence that the capital's public transport is in apparently terminal decline. Witness the announcer at Westminster station last week, who said something along the lines of: "Delays are occurring on the Circle, District and Bakerloo lines. There are also problems on the Northern and Bakerloo lines". Then, after a pause: "All other services are good." Clearly London Underground's human resources team have an eye for the "glass half full" type.

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