The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Removal of colours from rail timetables reversed


The decision to convert online train journey planners to greyscale as a mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh has been reversed following widespread criticism.

Passengers, rail staff and disability charities complained that the removal of colours from the websites of National Rail Enquiries (NRE) and individual train firms over the weekend made timetables difficult to read.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group, which runs NRE, said it reinstated colours at 10am on Monday after “listening to feedback”.

The switch to greyscale went beyond government guidance for the period of national mourning following the death of Philip, which only suggests organisati­ons use “black edging or black banners”.

NRE’s Twitter account received a barrage of angry messages following the initial change.

Users described the decision as “utterly ridiculous”, and said it made train timetables “extremely difficult to read”.

Theatre practition­er Ruth Phillips, 25, who has mild dyslexia, tried to buy a ticket through NRE for a future work trip, but gave up after finding the website “really hard to navigate”.

She said: “Certain colour schemes I find quite difficult. Definitely the lack of contrast is what made it really hard.”

Elisabeth Ward, accessibil­ity specialist at disability equality charity Scope, said it is “vital” that paying respects “doesn’t stop disabled people from accessing essential services”.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “It is possible to mourn for Prince Philip without making life even more difficult for disabled people and workers to use our railways.”

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