'Ladies and gentlemen' usage in Transport for London announcements

TfL has scrapped'ladies and gentlemen from Tube announcements and has told workers to say'hello everyone in a bid to become more gender-neutral

The salutation, which prefaces numerous automated and live announcements that inform and guide passengers on the London Underground is to be scrapped in favour of "hello everyone", or time specific phrases such as "good morning everyone".

Transport for London has reportedly asked London Underground staff to use "Hello everyone" as their standard greeting, as opposed to the traditional "ladies and gentlemen".

The plan to introduce gender-neutral greetings on the Underground was first announced in December 2016, after a transgender woman was mocked by transit staff.

The change is happening after campaigners appealed to Sadiq Khan, London's Mayor, to update the policy on announcements.

"We want everyone to feel welcome on our transport network", said Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL.

Stonewall, an LGBT advocacy group based in the United Kingdom, welcomed the newly implemented change.

'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 spokesperson said that the move toward gender neutrality "will ensure that everyone - no matter who they identify as - feels accounted for".

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Aimee Challenor, a 19-year-old trans campaigner who has always been fighting for this shift, said it was a "positive commitment from TfL", but urged the organisation to formalise the move. "It's these little things which can make people's lives better". "London is a city I love traveling through", she said.

"But hearing these announcements - we are living in the 21st century, not the 19th", she added.

Responding to a question from Green Party politician Sian Berry at a Mayor's Question Time last month, Sadiq Khan addressed the issue.

In December of a year ago, Khan had asked for a review of TfL procedures to ensure a "professional, respectful service that is inclusive and sensitive to the needs of all Londoners".

TfL advised that while staff has been briefed on the changes, "well-meaning" members of their team might accidentally slip back into the old announcements out of habit.

Khan said that TfL has instructed its staff to use gender-neutral phrasing.

In March, Cardiff Metropolitan University issued students and staff a list of 34 words and phrases to avoid on campus, including "mankind", "forefathers" and "right-hand man".

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