Following the death of Prince Philip, National Rail and Network Rail paid tribute by removing colour from their websites.
However, the move backfired as customers complained the mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh created severe accessibility issues.
After the websites – and those of other train operators, including Northern Rail and CrossCountry – turned to greyscale, a number of Brits criticised the tributes on social media.
What did users say about the websites following the death of Prince Philip?
Some said it made the websites impossible to use for visually impaired people.
On Twitter, one user said: “Many thanks to National Rail for making all my future talks on why senior staff need to understand digital accessibility much, much easier.”
A second wrote: “Erm… can you check with your accessibility people next time, please. I shouldn’t have to go into the Developer Tools and change your CSS to be able to use your website.”
Sites return to full colour
As of Monday (April 12) afternoon, both the National and Network Rail websites showed in full colour again, as did Northern and CrossCountry.
A third fumed: “Thank god you’ve put it back – now hire a goddamn accessibility rep who can stop you doing stupid [bleep] like this in the future.”
Someone else tweeted: “This is a mark of disrespect for disabled customers. I went to check ticket prices yesterday and had to leave the site as it was making me sick.”
Erm….can you check with your accessibility people next time please. I shouldn’t have to go into the Developer Tools and change your CSS to be able to use your website.
— ADKing (@a_d_king_) April 12, 2021
The National Rail website has been temporarily greyscaled as a mark of respect following the death of HRH Duke of Edinburgh. We are listening to feedback about how people are using the website and are making further changes today to make it more accessible to all our customers.
— National Rail (@nationalrailenq) April 12, 2021
What did National Rail and Network Rail say?
National Rail tweeted to customers: “We are listening to feedback about how people are using the website and are making further changes today to make it more accessible to all our customers.”
Similarly, a Network Rail spokesperson said, as reported by the Guardian: “We temporarily made our website greyscale as a mark of respect following the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
“We’ve been made aware this has caused problems for people accessing the content so it’s now back to its usual look. We’re sorry it’s caused issues and we thank everyone for their feedback.”
ED! contacted Network Rail for additional comment.
Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.