TfL drops “ladies and gentleman” announcements in gender-neutral move

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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There was celebration from many across the capital today (13 July) when Transport for London (TfL) stated it would be dropping the use of “ladies and gentlemen” from all of its tannoy announcements.

The move is the latest in a city-wide initiative to make London more gender-neutral, with transport workers across the capital being told to replace the traditional “ladies and gentlemen” greeting with more general terms, such as “good morning everyone”. Pre-recorded announcements will also be altered to reflect the more gender-neutral stance.

Discussing the announcement, Mark Evers, TfL’s boss of customer strategy, told the Evening Standard they 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," he said.

The announcement was met with delight on social media, particularly from those who backed the campaign led by LGBTQ+ activists to get the phrase dropped.

“This is so awesome and about time,” wrote one user.

“A welcome move by tfl to drop archaic language and use more inclusive,” added another.

The move has also pleased LGBTQ+ charities, with a representative from Stonewall telling the 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. 

“We welcome gender neutral announcements to be rolled out across TfL, as it will ensure that everyone – no matter who they identify as – feels accounted for.”

Speaking at Mayor’s Question Time last month, Sadiq Khan said, “Transport for London serves a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city, and provision of an inclusive transport service is at the heart of TfL's purpose. 

“I am aware however, 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.”

The changes will come into effect as quickly as possible, a spokesman for TfL told the Standard.

Images: iStock / Rex Features