Passengers left 'rather upset' by Lothian bus announcements mispronouncing Edinburgh area names

Restalrig, Dumbiedykes and Broughton, all areas of the Capital which if pronounced incorrectly are clear indicators of the arrival of a non-local.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 9:20 am

So high is the importance of the accuracy of the pronunciation held, residents have taken to signing a petition calling on Lothian buses to re-record the way the areas are pronounced.

The announcements, which can be heard over the tannoy of the newer buses in Lothian’s fleet led to some local people left “feeling rather upset” according to the founder of the petition Dawn Exley.

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The announcements, which can be heard over the tannoy of the newer buses in Lothians fleet led to some local people left feeling rather upset according to the founder of the petition

Inspired by her own mum’s reaction to the new announcements, Ms Exley set up the petition two weeks ago with nearly 150 people already signed up.

She said: “It started with my Mum who lived in the Broughton area for decades and she was furious that they were pronouncing Broughton wrong.

“It made her feel like the local dialect was not being valued.

“When I saw LNER had changed their mispronunciations after local people had been complaining I thought why not try?”

The petition is not about shaming people or Lothian for not knowing, Ms Exley said, but more about protecting the heritage of the areas the buses serve.

She added: “There are so many areas and I would not automatically know how to pronounce these things but the businesses and council have a responsibility to get it right.

“It is about the heritage too. They started as villages hundreds of years ago so I don’t think it is good to casually rename them.

“I am sure if they asked passengers and drivers they would easily find out how they have been pronouncing them for the last 50 years.

“I have been really pleased by the response and it is clearly something that gets under the skin of Edinburgh people.

“I think that they should do something to show that they care. It is not about expecting individuals to automatically know these things or berating people getting things wrong, it is about keeping up how these areas are supposed to be pronounced and letting people know about that information.”

Local voiceover specialists

A spokesman for Lothian buses said authenticity is “really important” and said they used local voiceover specialists when recording the announcements.

They said: “Lothian have led the industry in specifying next stop audio and visual announcements across all new bus deliveries since 2016.

“These measures are intended to remove barriers to travel, increase inclusion and better inform all customers on approach to bus stops, which we know through consultation with user groups can help to build confidence in independent travel.

“Local voiceover specialists are used when recording announcements and media on both buses and across our wider advertising platforms.

“Authenticity is really important to us and we are mindful of the diverse make up of our city and customers whilst ensuring we communicate all information clearly.

“We value all customer feedback and use it accordingly to shape our development and future strategies.”

What's in a name?

Place/ Pronounced by Lothian/ Correct Pronunciation

Broughton Braw-ton Bro-ton

Restalrig Res-T-alrig Res-al-rig

Dumbiedykes Dum-B-dykes Dum-y-dykes

Home Street Home Street Hume Street

Calton Terrace Brae Cal-ton Col-ton