Printer Friendly

Carwyn in Arriva Twitter bust-up.

Byline: Graham Henry Senedd Correspondent graham.henry@walesonline.co.uk

CARWYN Jones has sought to play down a row with train company Arriva Trains Wales after he accused them of being "shirty" and "unprofessional" after he tweeted about a lack of Welsh-language announcements at a Cardiff train station.

The First Minister had become embroiled in a Twitter row with the operator after fellow passengers on the platform at Cardiff Queen Street pointed out the announcements were in English only, while ordinarily they would be made bilingually in English and Welsh.

The First Minister issued a tweet from his personal AM account, @AMCarwyn, to Arriva complaining about English-only announcements at the station, saying: "English only announcements at Cardiff Queen Street today. Has the border moved?" The company tweeted back: "There has been no border moving that I have been made aware of, but I apologise if the English announcements upset you."

Mr Jones then said the response was "shirty" and "unprofessional", prompting the company to issue a grovelling apology in response - explaining the station's refurbishment meant a high number of trains were going through the station and bilingual announcements would mean they may overlap one another.

But the exchange saw the row spread through the Welsh corner of the social media network and it sparked another row, with an ITV journalist, Rupert Evelyn, criticising the First Minister for failing to uphold the standards he "berated" others for and labelling him "naive".

Rhondda AM and Labour colleague Leighton Andrews suggested there could be a formal complaint to the broadcaster for alleged "bias" but Mr Jones said he was not considering making any such steps over the row, which he said was "dealt with".

He said: "I thought the first part of the response was neither here nor there... but the second part about 'I apologise for the fact that our Englishness has upset you' - that was not what I said. Nor did I say I was upset with the English announcements.

"It does suggest in some way that if you are saying you want to hear Welsh announcements, you are somehow anti-English announcements. I thought that was unfortunate.

"I was trolled for the first time - I guess that's something to mark up. But it is dealt with now."

Arriva issued a statement "sincerely apologising" to Mr Jones for the row and said all of its other stations with automated announcements are bilingual.

A spokesman said: "Due to the high volume of train traffic through the station, and the fact that it currently only has three platforms, destination announcements are in English only as the high number of place-name announcements would end up overlapping each other and cause confusion.

"Generic announcements are bilingual at the station. However later this year a Network Rail project, funded by the Welsh Government, will be completed where an additional platform and a dedicated Cardiff Bay platform will ease traffic flow through the station. This will provide us with the opportunity to introduce bilingual destination announcements at Cardiff Queen Street."

CAPTION(S):

Carwyn Jones'Twitter exchange with Arriva

COPYRIGHT 2014 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 15, 2014
Words:509
Previous Article:Two deny drowning bid.
Next Article:Malcolm set for last hurrah in Cardiff race.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters