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By Oliver Poole

Friday 14 January 2000                                                  The Telegraph
 

AFTER days of stories about long queues blighting visits to the Dome, staff yesterday could, at least, promise visitors they would not have to wait long to see exhibits.

Unfortunately there was hardly anyone for them to tell the good news to. Only 5,000 people had journeyed to Greenwich to experience the promised "one amazing day" - 30,000 fewer than could have been fitted into the building and nearly 20,000 down on the number needed if the project is to break even.

Not one person was in the queue for the Body Zone, which drew crowds and long queues during the first days of opening. There was a brief flurry of activity after the finish of the daily Millennium Show as the crowd - which had barely filled a third of the 12,000-seat auditorium - emptied.

Those heading for the Body Zone were told that they would have to wait no
longer than five minutes to view the exhibition's central attraction. One of the greeters said: "It is empty today but it has been like this on a lot of the
weekdays since the schools went back. It is disappointing, but the cold weather does not encourage people to go out."

The "domonitors", designed to inform people which zones had queues of 15
minutes or more, were all green to indicate there was no waiting anywhere. In fact the longest queues appeared to be around the McDonald's restaurant.  Among the eager burger buyers was Deborah McCormack, 22, a law student from King's Cross, north London. She said: "It is a bit flat here today. I would almost rather have had the queues than this. I do not know what I was expecting but I hoped for a bit of atmosphere. There are so few people it feels as if you can hear your voice echo around the ceiling."

Outside the Living Island exhibit Max Gittings, from West Drayton, west
London, and his wife Janet, both 66, said that overall they were pleased they had made the journey. Mr Gittings said: "I am pleased we have not have had to queue."

Stephanie Hawkins, 10, on holiday with her parents from Australia, said she had had a great day out. She said: "There are lots of interesting things for kids to do." There were certainly a number of schoolchildren tearing around the displays and an incensed Dome employee was seen racing down the corridor in pursuit of a schoolboy. Miss McCormack said: "At least someone is making the most of it." 

A survey has shown that visitors were more impressed by the train service
running to the Dome than the building itself. The Jubilee Line extension topped the poll of visitors favourite attractions.

Electronic Telegraph
 

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