Last updated August 2023

Who We Are

We are the Passengers’ Council, operating as Transport Focus, a body corporate and non-departmental public body of His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but are not a servant or agent of the Crown. We are the data controller for the information we process. We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office under registration number Z9171370. We can be contacted either through our website or directly at

Our information charter

We process personal information in line with both the data protection regulations currently in force and our Information Charter.

Information we collect from you

We collect personal information from you if you contact us with consumer enquiries and complaints about rail, bus, coach, tram and road journeys, with stories or examples as part of our work, if you engage with us for consultation or research purposes, or with comments and complaints about the Transport Focus service, and with feedback on our websites.

Information collected includes personal details such as names and addresses, email addresses and details of individual queries or issues. In addition, where cookie consent has been provided we collect information on the usage of the websites used to collect this information. This usage information will not identify you individually.

Please note that if you choose not to provide personal details when using the Transport Focus websites this may limit the extent to which you can use the sites or how we can help you.

Lawful basis for processing your data

We need to have a valid lawful basis for holding and processing your data. This depends on the purpose of processing:

In respect of consumer enquiries and complaints this processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. The ‘official authority’ in this case is set out in section 76 of the Railways Act 1993 (as amended by the Railways Act 2005 and other statutory modifications thereof).

In respect of recruitment to and operation of our online panel, this basis is consent. You may withdraw your consent at any time.

In respect of the bulk of Transport Focus’s research activities, this basis is legitimate interests where Transport Focus is satisfied that these interests are not overridden by your fundamental rights and freedoms.

If you provide us with special category data such as health or political affiliations, we will never pass this information on to a third party without your explicit consent. If you withhold such consent, it may limit the extent to which we can deal effectively with your complaint or query.

How we use your information

Consumer enquiries and complaints

If you contact us with an enquiry or complaint, we will use the information you have provided to advise you about your rights as a consumer, about how to avoid problems and how to address any problems you may have encountered.

If your problem was with an external organisation such as a transport operator, we will need to pass information you have provided to them for investigation and resolution purposes. This includes information that may have been routed via an agency or automated portal acting on our or their behalf.  These service providers include:

  • providers of passenger transport services
  • the Rail Ombudsman (if a complaint you are making falls within the scope of the service it provides)
  • the London Transport Users’ Committee (operating as London TravelWatch) if a complaint you are making falls within its statutorily defined area; or
  • the London Transport Users’ Committee (operating as London TravelWatch) who may deal with the matter on Transport Focus’s behalf under the terms of data sharing agreements which provide, among other things, for Transport Focus and London TravelWatch to act as data controllers and processors in respect of the personal data you provide.
  • other service providers.

When you contact us, we will check that you have already contacted the original company  your problem is with.

This means, that when we contact them on your behalf, we are not sharing information about you that they don’t already have. If necessary, we will gain your consent to share additional information with them that is necessary to help resolve your problem.

We will generally hold details of your enquiry or complaint for three years after the issue has been resolved, and your case closed.

We also share your information with third parties with whom we work to help improve the passenger experience of rail industry operations, complaint handling and compensation arrangements.

If you are making a complaint or query on behalf of another adult or adults, we may ask you to confirm in writing that you are doing so with their authority. This applies to circumstances, for example, in which one adult contacts us on behalf of a group of travellers who have experienced a similar problem, or where an adult is physically or mentally unable to contact us in their own right, and with the appropriate authority to do so. If you are making a complaint or query on behalf of a child under the age of 16, we may ask you to confirm that you are the child’s parent or legal guardian.

Online panel

If you take part in an online survey, we aggregate results to ensure that your feedback informs operational decisions but remains anonymous.

Transport user research

What you think matters. Everything Transport Focus does is supported by evidence provided by our unique insight work and a wide range of activities designed to find out what matters to road, rail, bus and tram users.

Much of this work is repeated at least once a year, so it is possible to track trends over time and spot the impact of change. You can interrogate the data from many of our surveys via the Transport Focus data hub.

We process personal data in order to collect this evidence, but we will never publish it and keep it securely and only as long as we need to. Publications based on these surveys are always anonymous.

Comments and complaints

If you have a comment on the service you have received – good or bad – we will use the information you provide to help us maintain and enhance our service to all our customers. We will hold details of your comments for three years after your case is closed.

If you have a complaint about Transport Focus itself, we will use the information you provide to investigate your complaint. If your original enquiry or complaint was passed on to a partner organisation, we may also need to pass details of your complaint to them to help them investigate your complaint further. We will hold details of your complaint for three years post-closure.


If you provide feedback on our website through our on-line form, we will only use this information to develop and improve the site. We hold details of your feedback for up to one year.

Cookies and visitor statistics

Cookies are files that a website can store on your device when you visit the website. These files contain information about your use of a website and may contain personal details. This site uses cookies to gather statistics on visitors’ use of the site.

We will use this information to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors enter, move around and leave the site.

Your Rights

You have lots of rights in respect of our processing of your personal data. The relevant rights are:

  • get access to your personal data and information about our processing of it
  • in some circumstances, restrict our processing of your data and compel us to erase the bits we do not use for legal purposes
  • object to our processing (in some circumstances)
  • ask us to rectify any inaccurate information we may inadvertently hold

If you want to exercise any of these rights, please just get in contact at:

Senior Information Risk Owner
Transport Focus
Albany House
Ground Floor West
94-98 Petty France, London SW1H 9EA

We will need to ensure you are who you say you are when you submit a Rights Request, but once that has been done, we will respond in a timely manner and fulfil the request within one month of receipt.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about our processing with a supervisory authority —  the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113