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Virgin Trains under fire after saying Welsh language announcements ‘not fair’

21 Nov 2018 2 minute read
Virgin Train. Picture by Paul Smith (CC BY 2.0)

Virgin Trains have come under fire after saying that it would “not be fair” on other languages to provide announcements in Welsh on trains operating in Wales.

A passenger had complained that there were no bilingual announcements during a train journey from Holyhead to Chester.

“I’m afraid we are unable to provide announcements in all other languages, so as Welsh speakers can speak English too, English is the most suitable,” the company said on Twitter.

“Appreciate your frustrations but it is not possible for us to provide train announcements in all other languages and it would not be fair to just additionally provide them in Welsh and not other languages too. Apologies for this.”

Twitter user Aled Gwyn Williams had responded to the message, asking what other languages the company was referring to.

“Wales has two official languages,” he said. “England has one de facto language. And your announcements in Wales should be in both.

“You’re operating in an officially bilingual country whose two languages are equal by law. Act like it.”

The company later apologised for its prior messages.

“We have acknowledged that this should be the case if possible on our Welsh routes and apologies for the misunderstanding,” they said.

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