BAA picks up bad English awardPlain English Campaign 'honours' Gatwick shoe sign

11 December 2007

Airport sign directing travellers to the terminal.

Airport operator BAA has picked up an award for treating travellers to utter gobbledygook.

The company, which runs seven UK airports, has been honoured with a ‘Golden Bull’ by the Plain English Campaign for one of its signs at Gatwick Airport.

The sign in the place where shoes are security screened read ‘Passenger shoe repatriation area only’.

Rail delays

Another company which had the dubious honour of picking up a Golden Bull award was Northern Ireland rail operator, Translink.

Passenger shoe repatriation area only

Sign at Gatwick AirportBAA

Its sign at Coleraine station read: ‘Every Autumn a combination of leaves on the line, atmospheric conditions and prevailing damp conditions lead to a low adhesion between the rail head and the wheel which causes services to be delayed or even cancelled.

‘NI Railways are committed to minimising service delays, where we can, by implementing a comprehensive low adhesion action programme.’

Plain English Campaign

The Plain English Campaign is a pressure group which tries to get organisations to communicate with the public in plain language.

Each year it presents awards to the organisations it judges have produced the best and worst examples of English.