A train operator has come under fire after it apologised over a complaint from a non-binary passenger because the conductor greeted customers by saying 'good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.' London North Eastern Railway said in response to the complaint on Twitter that 'train managers should not be using language like this' before promising to take action.
The non-binary passenger, who goes by the Twitter name Laurence and uses the pronouns they and them, also states they represent the Rail, Maritime and Transport trade union. In their complaint, Laurence stated: '"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls..." so as a non binary person this announcement doesn't actually apply to me so I won't listen @LNER.'
In response, the train company said: 'I'm really sorry to see this, Laurence, our Train Managers should not be using language like this, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Mark Jenkinson, the Conservative MP for Workington, said: 'You’d be forgiven for thinking this Train Manager had unleashed a tirade of abuse.
'“Should not be using language like this? 'He’d actually said “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Identify however you like, but can we stop this nonsense?'
Columnist Paul Embery added: 'Utterly ridiculous. Do you have any idea how this kind of thing comes across to ordinary people?'Another Twitter user added: 'Both WORK for the rail system... but they “won’t” listen to train announcements that don’t “apply” to them?'This isn’t a ‘customer complaint’ from a member of the general public — it’s two transport EMPLOYEES pushing their own agenda.'