Public transport support services

Personal information we hold

In order to use our public transport support services, we will need to collect information about you to assess and review your eligibility, and to help us take into account your personal accessibility needs when travelling. The personal information we hold includes:

  • Name, address, telephone number, email address
  • Information relating to your disability, health or long-term condition (eg relating to your mobility); including any travel requirements or mobility aids you use
  • Photograph (if applying for a Mobility Aid Recognition Scheme card)
  • Emergency contact details
  • Details of any referees if referred by someone to the service
  • Any other personal information that you supply in support of your engagement with our public transport support services
  • Enquiries, complaints or other correspondence from you

Legal basis for using your information

Under data protection legislation, TfL is only allowed to use personal information if we have a proper reason or 'legal basis' to do so.  In the case of public transport support services, there are a number of these 'legal grounds' we rely on, which are:

  • Our statutory and public functions: to undertake activities to promote and encourage safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities and services, and to deliver the Mayor's Transport Strategy
  • Where you have given your consent to TfL, for example: you have asked us to resolve an issue or complaint for you;

Sometimes we also need to collect or store information that is defined as 'special category personal data'.  In respect of our public transport support services, this consists of health, disability or mobility information we collect from you.

As before, there are a number of 'legal grounds' we rely on when handling this kind of information, depending on the circumstances, which are:

  • Where we have your explicit consent to do so for a particular purpose
  • For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims
  • Where it's necessary for equality of opportunity or treatment

Obtaining and using your information

Most of the personal information we hold will be provided by you when you enquire about or register for our public transport support services.  It may also be provided by other parties, for example where you have been referred to us by external agencies.

TfL will use your personal information for the purposes of customer services and administration (including assessing and reviewing your eligibility for public transport support services), the provision of a one-to-one travel mentor service (carrying out home visits, planning accessible journeys and accompanying you on journeys), providing assistance for the use of mobility aids on London's bus services, registering you for the Mobility Aid Recognition scheme (where relevant), customer research and fraud prevention.

Length of time we keep your information

If you use our travel mentoring service, we will retain your details for 5 years from the time of your last contact with us.  This is for the following reasons:

  • To respond to correspondence, concerns or complaints
  • To establish and defend any legal rights

If you are a Mobility Aid Recognition Scheme cardholder, we will retain your details for 5 years from the expiry date of the card.  This is for the following reasons:

  • To respond to correspondence, concerns or complaints
  • To establish and defend any legal rights

Keeping personal information secure

We take the privacy of our customers very seriously and a range of robust policies, processes and physical and technical measures are all in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, personal information associated with TfL's management and operation of public transport support services.

Anyone with access to personal information held in TfL's systems is required to complete TfL's privacy and data protection training on an annual basis.

We also publish guidance on the steps you can also take to protect your personal information.

Automated processing and profiling

Under data protection legislation we have to let you know when we use your personal information do something 'automatically' using our computers or other systems or make an automated decision (without human intervention) that significantly affects you.

In the case of public transport support services, TfL does not make decisions based solely on the use of automated systems, databases or computer applications.

Occasionally TfL may use aggregated or depersonalised public transport support service information to carry out research and analysis, for example, to assess the usage of our service.  We may also use it to identify improvements we might need to make to the service (or other assisted travel options in London) in future.  Individuals will not be identified using this information.

Sharing personal information

If you have a query about your use of the public transport support services, and would like a third party to contact us on your behalf, we will only deal with them with your permission. This is the case even if the person is your carer, partner or spouse, a member of your family, living at the same address as you, or your legal representative.

We may also share your personal information with other public bodies such as your local authority for the purposes of safeguarding. Any such information sharing will be carried out in accordance with privacy and data protection legislation and with the appropriate written agreements in place.

In some circumstances, disclosures of personal data to the police (and other law enforcement agencies) are permitted by data protection legislation, if they relate to the prevention or detection of crime and/or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. Before any such disclosure takes place, the police are required to demonstrate that the personal data concerned will assist them in this respect. Each police request to TfL is dealt with on a strict case-by-case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and in accordance with data protection legislation.

Overseas processing

TfL and its service providers may process your personal information in countries within the UK and European Economic Area (EEA).  Any such processing will be carried out in strict accordance with UK and EU privacy legislation and the appropriate contractual safeguards which TfL has put in place.   

Your information rights 

Under data protection legislation you are entitled to ask to see any personal information that we hold about you.  Please see our page on how to access your data for further details.

You also have a number of other information rights which include:

  • The right to question any information we have about you that you think is wrong or incomplete
  • The right to object to how we use your information or to ask us to delete or restrict how we use it
  • In some cases, the right to receive a copy of your information in a format that you can easily re-use
  • The right to complain to the regulator - the Information Commissioner's Office

The TfL Privacy and Data Protection team considers and coordinates responses to requests and complaints from people whose personal data is processed by TfL and its subsidiary companies. You can contact the Data Protection Officer by email at dpo@tfl.gov.uk.

Changes to this page

It's likely that we'll need to update this statement from time to time, so check back here regularly to find out more. This page was last updated in November 2020.