Mind the language: London Tube starts ‘fully inclusive’ announcements

Station greeting of ‘hello everyone’ replaces ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in effort to promote passenger equality

A  woman rides a tube escalator decorated with the Pride flag colours. Photograph: Getty Images

A woman rides a tube escalator decorated with the Pride flag colours. Photograph: Getty Images

 

London Tube announcements have been changed to “hello everyone” from “ladies and gentlemen” in an effort to promote equality among passengers.

The new announcements are to be added to all prerecorded messages on the underground transport network.

Commenting on the Transport for London (TfL) change, Mark Evers, TfL’s director of customer strategy, said: “We want everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.

“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.”

The gender neutral alternative was embraced by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who said TfL serves “a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city, and provision of an inclusive transport service is at the heart of TfL’s purpose”.

He was aware that “some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made,” so the change addresses these concerns “by speaking in a more neutral way”.

A spokesperson for LGBT campaign group Stonewall welcomed the change, “as it will ensure that everyone - no matter who they identify as - feels accounted for.”

The group added: “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.”

Stonewall acknowledged progress in terms of gender-neutrality over reent years, adding: “We’re all on a journey.”

TfL have briefed staff on the issue but said: “From time to time, well-meaning staff may still use the term ‘ladies and gentlemen’. If this happens frequently, we will issue reminders to staff”.