23 November 1998

No London Underground Trains For Millennium

The London Underground (LU) said today it was contemplating suspending all tube (subway) services over the millennium period. The hapless spokesdrone from the LU said that they would simply not be able to cope with the expected crowds and that they could not guarantee a safe and reliable service.

Hah! You don't have to be a Science à GoGo reader to know what this announcement really means. The cash-starved LU can barely piece together a coherent service on the best of days and if a safe and reliable service was of such importance then they should have closed the whole damn thing down years ago. Yes, valued reader, safety and reliability have nothing to do with it - the simple fact of the matter is they couldn't run them if they wanted to because of Y2K "issues".

To the feckless dregs of the Science à GoGo office this really, at last, with hideous import and clarity - brought the problem home. "No tube back from the New Years party at the Society for Gene Shear Aficionados" - ohmigod.

But Y2K is a godsend for the media generally - the chance to scare the bejesus out of the largely computer illiterate public - and why should we be any different. Russian nukes going off, water supplies that suddenly decide we need to have a bit of sewage pumped into the supply, third-world air traffic control systems, the toaster not working.

Don't believe us? Well just check out the report from the British American Security Information Council. They put the clock forward in a radar center and managed to shut the whole system down! You can see now why the British government is readying the Territorial Army to take to the streets when all the traffic lights go out.

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