Millennium went well underground

In "A millennium on the cheap" (Editorial, 10 January) it was suggested that there was "the usual array of chaotic delays and station closures". This is completely at variance with the facts. The Tube transport arrangements for the night went according to plan, getting over three million people to and from the event in safety. There were no significant delays to Underground services, other than incidents brought about by a small number of people who thought that activating alarms on trains was a terrific idea. Indeed the service ran extremely well. We carried twice the number of people who would normally travel in the peak period, through the night, free of charge.

In spite of the millions of happy and sometimes intoxicated customers, no one was hurt seriously. All the station closures were planned and necessary to ensure that the huge numbers of people entering the network were controlled in safety.

While we were grateful for the sponsorship of Bacardi, the real funding for our being able to run the whole Underground network for 42 hours continuously (which was not done in Paris, as your article wrongly suggests) came directly from the government, which provided £10 million for transport provision over the millennium period.

Derek Smith
Managing Director, London Underground

This article first appeared in the 24 January 2000 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - The tyranny of the brands