PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2007, 12:00am

Would you enjoy piped music in MTR stations?

We note that the MTR Corporation has started playing soft music in concourses at its stations as part of a service to help relieve passengers' stress.

I applaud the decision to experiment with relaxing music; it shows the corporation treats passengers as customers and is trying to be helpful and courteous.

On the other hand, the KCR's management has stubbornly dug in, with its PR department refusing to contemplate any suggestion of being nice to its passengers.

In KCR concourses and platforms, our ears are constantly assailed with an incessant barrage of announcements that we are not allowed to do this or that and we will be prosecuted for disobeying.

One particularly irritating announcement played almost every three minutes tells us we will be prosecuted and fined up to HK$5,000 for taking live animals and 'poetry' on the train.

The announcer is perhaps really telling us to hide our live chickens in one of those large striped plastic bags used for bringing in pirated DVDs from Shenzhen, but I fear the Bard might not be amused if he were to hear this announcement.

The KCR should shut up and leave us in peace when we spend money to travel on its trains.

Even Britain's pitiful and creaking railway systems have the decency to address the public as 'customers' and do not threaten us every few minutes with prosecution.

P.A. Crush, Sha Tin

Given the speed at which most Hongkongers charge through stations or the number of people either talking on the phone or listening to MP3s, I doubt anyone would hang around the stations long enough to even notice the music.

This must rank as one of the MTR Corp's most stupid ideas.

Our money would have been better spent thinking up more excuses for why they think toilets in stations aren't necessary, or setting the escalators to run backwards to further inconvenience those in a hurry.

After the problems with the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, the MTR Corp is now trying to diversify into the music business.

Jon Yau, Tai Po

What do you think about the quality of schools?

As a teacher, I am perplexed by the continual discussions going on about the 'possible' benefits of reducing class sizes.

I must not be as enlightened as our Education and Manpower Bureau, but a four-year study to assess whether reducing class sizes is beneficial to students seems ludicrous.

Any teacher will tell you that class numbers matter. The difference between 25 students and 45 is enormous. In my opinion, there is no way any teacher can meet the needs - let alone know the needs - of 45 students. If the bureau cannot see this, more knowledgeable people should take over.

Is it not logical that teaching fewer students will give a teacher more time to help and get to know their students?

Terry Scott, Sha Tin

On other matters...

Having driven a car in Hong Kong for 25 years, I have five questions and comments for the police commissioner:

Why are cyclists allowed to ride across red traffic lights, ride the wrong way up one-way streets, and even ride on the wrong side of the road?

I have sometimes been given parking tickets and the only offence was stated as 'parking in an unauthorised place'. Yet at any time of the day or night (particularly at night), one can find rows of taxis, trucks, and even private cars parked in 'unauthorised places', yet without a single parking ticket.

What is the unwritten rule for when one can or cannot park in an 'unauthorised space' without fear of being booked for illegal parking?

Clearly there must be some guideline for the police and traffic attendants to follow. I would like to know what it is?

Is it a legal requirement under the Hong Kong highway code to always signal when changing direction, whether right or left? I took my driving test in Britain 40 years ago and certainly it was a legal requirement at that time in Britain to always signal when changing direction, and I assume it still is.

However in Hong Kong, in almost 50 per cent of cases when the choice of direction at a junction is between straight ahead or left (or occasionally straight ahead or right), drivers do not signal, yet I have never seen a traffic police officer stop a car for this infringement;

Why are the police not doing more to stop vehicles from jumping red lights? I drive a sports car and I always wait until the lights turn green before starting off. It is not uncommon, however, for minibuses - and even full-size double-decker buses - which also start from the same line, to be 100 metres ahead of me by the time I drive off.

I have often seen minibuses shoot across intersections through lights that have already been red for several seconds and where all the other vehicles have stopped.

Surely a small team of staff of the calibre of traffic wardens could be deployed to curb these practices? Dressed in plain clothes and armed with digital cameras, they could randomly monitor major intersections;

Probably the most abused traffic rule in Hong Kong is the 'keep left unless overtaking' rule. This seems to have become: 'It is permissible to drive permanently in the right-hand lane unless someone behind indicates they want to overtake by flashing their lights or blowing his horn.'

Again, surely a small body of plainclothes staff in unmarked cars patrolling major highways would solve this problem?

P. Bentley, Mid-Levels

The standard of living in Hong Kong is much better now than it used to be.

This means that teenagers are luckier than people from older generations. They have the opportunity to concentrate on their studies.

However, many of them are only concerned with playing computer games and shopping.

They lack knowledge and find it difficult to adapt and fit in, which is not good for the future of our society.

C. Wong, Fanling