An introduction to complaining

When we cannot help you

Unfortunately, we will not be able to help you in the following circumstances:


You have copied us in to a complaint that you have written to the transport company.

As you are waiting for a response from the transport company, we will not get involved at this time.


The transport company has not responded.

Please give the transport company 20 working days to respond to you.


The transport company has no record of your contacting them. 

We will pass any details we have of your complaint and request that they contact you directly.


The complaint is about heritage rail services or charter operators. 

Our remit in this area is limited to delays, train cancellations and accessibility.  We will not get involved, for example, with complaints about on board services such as food, beverages or any other aspect of the trip.


Your complaint is about a penalty charge notice (parking – not red route). 

The appeals process will be on the penalty charge form. These are normally managed or contracted out by the local authority.


You have been taken to court and have received a judgement.

Once you have been to court and received a judgement we are unable to assist you. Any appeal must be made through the appropriate legal channels.


You have failed to register your concerns within a reasonable timescale.

We cannot deal with complaints that are not made within a reasonable timescale. This can vary depending on the nature of your complaint. Transport companies may be unable to consider issues if they are not raised in a reasonable time frame. Generally, most complaints are made within six weeks of the issue arising. Refund claims with some operators must be made within 21 days.


You have received a penalty fare and the appeal has failed.

London TravelWatch is not a penalty fare appeals body and therefore cannot overturn a decision made by the appeal company. However, we welcome all complaints and will try to help wherever we can.


Your complaint is about a transport company but not from the point of view of a user of that service

We represent users of public transport in and around the London area. We cannot, for example, help with noise from train stations or residents of an area unhappy with a new bus route.


You have sent us an appeal but the operator or issue falls outside of our remit

If your appeal relates to buses outside of London, we will pass your complaint to Bus Users UK who will contact you directly.

If your complaint is outside of our remit, we will contact you to advise of this.


You are unsatisfied with the Rail Ombudsman’s handling of your appeal or the appeal outcome

London TravelWatch cannot overturn decisions made by the Rail Ombudsman nor can we investigate your concerns with them.  We do welcome any passenger feedback, so if you are unhappy with any part of your experience appealing your complaint, please let us know.


Bus driver complaints

London TravelWatch welcomes the information shared with us by passengers using the bus network in London.  We will record all information given to us and use it (with all personal details removed) as evidence where the passenger experience provides particular insight.  However, London TravelWatch does not take appeals complaints about bus drivers that include but are not limited to

  • Poor driving
  • Missed bus stop
  • Rudeness
  • Face coverings (this is a new category but face coverings are not enforceable by the driver)
  • Failing to stop
  • Failing to let a passenger off between stops
  • Not allowing them to board without a valid ticket
  • Mothers with buggies told to either fold up the buggy or get off the bus as a wheelchair user needs the space
  • Injury on board (we don’t take these cases as injuries are handled by the bus company insurance and not TfL)
  • Damage of property by driver