This policy applies to Transport for Wales Rail Ltd ("TfWRL", "our", "we" or "us"), and sets out our commitment to the language and culture of Wales in our operation of the Wales and borders train franchise.
- To work towards ensuring that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than the English language.
- To operate increasingly as a bilingual organisation within our operations in Wales.
- To investigate improvements in Welsh language service provision and implement those where reasonably practicable.
2. Delivery of Services
- Our normal practice will be to ensure that our services and communications are available in Welsh and to inform our customers where these services are available. However, some-industry wide railway systems and databases are commonly used by all train operating companies and this might prevent us in providing all services in Welsh.
- Where services and communications can be provided in both Welsh and English, they will be of equal quality in terms of size, readability and profile.
3. Customer and Stakeholder Communications
- When we receive written correspondence in Welsh, we will issue a reply in Welsh. Our target times for responding will be the same as for those issued in the English language.
- If we know that a customer or stakeholder’s preference is to receive correspondence in Welsh, this will be arranged. Where we issue circulars or standard correspondence, this will normally be issued bilingually [unless the correspondence is highly technical or lengthy, in which case this will be issued in English only].
- The above will apply to email as well as paper correspondence.
3.2 Telephones and face-to-face communication
- We provide a customer relations contact centre in Welsh and English. However, where matters need to be referred on elsewhere quickly, we may be unable to guarantee continuity in Welsh. We can however arrange a call back later with a Welsh speaker but this may incur delay.
- We will make every effort to provide a Welsh-speaking member of staff for customers who wish to discuss their issues face-to-face. If this cannot be done immediately, the customer will be given the opportunity to discuss matters in English or provided with a written response in Welsh.
- At public meetings, if requested, we will provide simultaneous translation from Welsh to English and invitations to meetings will be issued bilingually. Any paperwork associated with such meetings can be made available bilingually, on request.
3.3 Electronic/Digital Customer Information Systems
- Where practicable and where technology allows, we will aim to provide bilingual aural and visual customer information systems at stations and on trains.
- We will aim to provide all statutory, static notices/posters and customer service information communications in English and Welsh. In some instances, for example during times of unforeseen train service disruption, this may not be possible.
- We are working to provide increased Welsh language content on our website, however in some instances this is out of our control, for example, some information is ‘fed’ through common rail industry systems which are programmed centrally and only provide information/data in the English language.
- We will aim to upgrade all station name boards in Wales to appear in English and Welsh. These will be replaced over time usually as part of a specific programme or in connection with a station refurbishment scheme. Other station and on-board signage and instructions will be provided bilingually.
4. Press, Media and Social Media
- Press releases to the Welsh language press and broadcasting media will be issued in Welsh where deadlines permit. Where possible, we will arrange for Welsh speaking employees to conduct interviews with the Welsh language press and broadcasting media in Welsh.
- When available, Welsh speaking staff will respond to feedback in the Welsh language through social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
5. Transport for Wales Rail Ltd Employees
- Where available and practicable, we will aim to provide employees who are capable of speaking in Welsh for customer service and information purposes.
- We will aim to increase the numbers of staff employed where fluency in Welsh is considered to be desirable or essential.
- We will provide appropriate guidance and support to employees to learn Welsh or improve their Welsh speaking skills.
- We will encourage Welsh speaking employees to provide public address announcements bilingually and for them to be identified as Welsh speaking to the public, for example with a specific lapel badge.