Noisy trav­ellers

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters to the editor -

sir – Quiet car­riages on trains, which may be scrapped (re­port, De­cem­ber 6), were gen­er­ally en­force­able un­til op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies changed the signs ban­ning use of elec­tronic de­vices to signs re­quest­ing con­sid­er­a­tion for other pas­sen­gers.

The very peo­ple who an­noy other pas­sen­gers have lit­tle or no concept of what such con­sid­er­a­tion en­tails. Colin Lav­er­ick

Lon­don WC2

sir – On a ser­vice be­tween King’s Cross and York, in a packed quiet coach, a lady of ad­vanced years and slow mo­bil­ity was helped on by a gen­tle­man. He then alighted; she la­bo­ri­ously un­earthed a book from her bag and set about read­ing it.

Barely 10 min­utes into the jour­ney, a woman nearby be­gan a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion in a rather loud voice. My hack­les rose. Then, with­out flinch­ing or tak­ing her eyes off her book, the older lady said in a loud, sonorous tone: “This is the quiet coach. Please go into the vestibule.”

The woman on the phone failed to hear this re­quest, such was the vol­ume of her own voice, so it was re­peated in an even more com­mand­ing man­ner: “We have paid money to be in the quiet coach. Please use the vestibule.”

The phone call was rapidly cur­tailed and the coach was as quiet as the grave all the way to York. I am still per­fect­ing my vo­cal tech­nique and sum­mon­ing up the courage to em­u­late this so­lu­tion to the prob­lem. Alexan­dra Rous

Har­ro­gate, North York­shire

sir – With­out con­duc­tors on trains, quiet zones will be un­en­force­able. So quiet zones must go be­fore con­duc­tors are dis­pensed with.

How­ever, rowdy yobs are a prob­lem in any car­riage. With­out con­duc­tors, pas­sen­gers will be left to fend for them­selves. This makes the claim that safety will not be com­pro­mised on con­duc­tor­less trains sound a tad silly.

Hav­ing once been shoved and ver­bally abused by a drunken youth, who as­sumed the suit I was wear­ing meant I was not only a toff but a Tory, I was grate­ful for the con­duc­tor who in­ter­vened. In­ter­est­ingly, the drunken youth turned out not to have a ticket. Michael Hughes

Wick­ham Mar­ket, Suf­folk

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