New phrases such as ‘Good afternoon everyone’ will be introduced, as the city takes steps to become more gender-neutral.
The decision comes after months of campaigning from LGBT+ activists, who appealed to change the “outdated” language used by London transport workers. Campaigners described the language as “police but really belonging to yesterday.”
New versions of the pre-recorded announcements will be made for all Transport for London services. TfL has said it plans to update the guidance for workers “as quickly as we can.”
Head of Transport for London’s customer strategy, Mark Evers, says they want “everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.” He added, “We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London.”
This shift comes after Green Party equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor was told she “didn’t sound like a Miss” during a phone call to TfL’s Oyster card helpline.
She added, “London is a city I love travelling through, it’s diverse. But hearing these announcements – we are living in the 21st century, not the 19th.”
A spokesperson for Stonewall praised the move, telling the Evening Standard; “Language is extremely important to the lesbian, gay, bi, and trans community, and the way we use it can help ensure all people feel included.”
Sadiq Khan responded to questions on the matter at Mayor’’s Question Time last month, saying: “I am aware that some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made.”
“I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender.”
TfL have also released a London Underground map that assists those with claustrophobia or anxiety, highlighting routes that avoid long stretches of tunnels. Keep it up London!
Words Lee Dalgetty