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Home Government DfT is calling time on 'tannoy-spam'

DfT is calling time on ‘tannoy-spam’

The government is launching a new initiative to review and remove unnecessary on-board announcements on trains in England.

It says that this means passengers will not be bombarded with so-called ‘tannoy spam’, which it thinks detracts from safety-critical messaging.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is working with the Rail Delivery Group and Transport Focus as well as train operators to identify how unnecessary messages can be cut or reduced whilst keeping accessibility.

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Anything that relates to safety or helps people access services will remain.

The review is set to run through 2022, with changes starting in the coming months.

The DfT says unnecessary messages include telling people to have their tickets ready when leaving the station and loud calls to keep the volume down.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Train passengers are all too often plagued by an endless torrent of repeated and unnecessary announcements.

“In line with the passenger improvements we are rolling out with our Plan for Rail, we want to see improvements to the railways for those who use them day in day out. 

“That’s why I’m calling for a bonfire of the banalities to bring down the number of announcements passengers are forced to sit through and make their journey that little bit more peaceful.”

As passengers come back to the railways, the DfT has said it will continue to ensure journeys are more comfortable to all users and that passengers continue to receive the important information that they need about their journey. Officials will work with accessibility groups to ensure that access for all is maintained.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers will welcome a review intended to cut out unnecessary announcements. Transport Focus looks forward to helping with the review, so passengers get the information they want, including those with additional accessibility needs.”

Jacqueline Starr, CEO of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We know people want the most relevant and timely messages on their journeys and to help with this, train operators are continuing their work to improve customer information, including cutting unnecessary onboard announcements.

“We’re also going further by asking customers what they want to know and using their responses to plan more useful and consistent announcements across the network, helping people have a better experience travelling by train.”

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