Making things easy for visitors

By | Category: Travel rumblings
DB overground train

an above ground train in Nuremburg

How many times over the years have I moaned at the way we treat visitors? Go to Heathrow or Gatwick and the signage in languages other than in English is minimal. Catch the tube into London and its just as bad. At least the Stansted Express (a bit of a misnomer of ever there was one) has a commentary as you pull into Stansted that is in Italian and Spanish as well.

How would you like to be treated this badly when you travelled abroad to a country where English was not the first language?

As readers know, I was in Nuremberg last weekend. At the airport I caught the U2 underground service into the city centre and, at each stop, announcements were made in English about which stop we were reaching and on which side that we would exit from. Not that we needed that really because an arrow and a light illuminated each area.

My first thought was that because U2 was the line from the airport then only it would have English language information. So I caught U1, U12, U3 and U4 – every underground line in the city – and each one had English language information.

I don’t suppose Boris – with his German ancestry – would like to leave another mark on London before he retires to the House of Commons and make it mandatory for information in other languages to be available on London underground and buses to help visitors to this country who don’t speak English fluently. And then it could spread to mainline trains and public transport in all our other major tourist attractions.

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