National Travel Attitudes Study: Privacy notice and FAQs

In this privacy notice, we explain the legal basis for data processing, who will have access to your personal data, how your data will be used, stored and deleted, and who you can contact with a query or a complaint.

Who is collecting my data?

NatCen Social Research is Britain’s largest independent social research agency. For 50 years, we have been working with charities, universities and government to find out what people really think about the big issues. NatCen is independent of all government departments and political parties. NatCen is collecting this data on behalf of the Department for Transport.

Why are you contacting me?

When you took part in an interview for the National Travel Survey, your interviewer asked if it would be okay to contact you. At the time you provided us with some contact details.

The National Travel Attitudes Study (NTAS) is your chance to share your views and experiences on issues related to travel, such as transport provision for disabled people, phone use while driving, and climate change.

The aim is to provide a truly representative picture of England. By taking part you’ll be making your opinion on important issues count and ensuring that your views, and the views of people like you, are represented.

What data is being collected?

We will ask questions about a variety of topics related to transport. To help with analysis, we ask for some information classed as sensitive personal data, such as ethnicity. Participation is entirely voluntary and you can skip individual questions if you prefer. To help us administer the surveys, we collect information such as the type of device with which you access our questionnaires online, and for contact information so we can keep in touch. On occasion we may ask your permission to link your survey answers to other data, for instance held by government departments – but only with your permission and only ever for research purposes.  

How does the NTAS keep data safe?

All the information we collect is held in accordance with current data protection legislation (GDPR).  All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers.  We use strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorised access. NatCen holds ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications.

What will you do with the information I give?

The information you give will only be used for research and analysis. Most of the results will appear as percentages and statistics - we will not identify your individual opinion in the results without seeking your direct permission. Anonymised data may be stored with the UK Data Service for use by approved researchers. It will not be possible for anyone to identify you from this information. Sometimes we will analyse your answers together with answers you gave to previous questionnaires to help us to understand things like how people’s views are changing over time.

Will my contact information be shared with anyone else?

Your contact details are only used so we can contact you to send you information on how the survey is being used or so you can take part. We will never share your contact details with third parties, including government, charities or commercial companies for marketing purposes. If there was a legitimate research purpose for sharing contact details or identifiable information, we would only do so with your direct permission.

How long will the information I give be held?

All your personal details will be retained until no longer required, in accordance with current data protection legislation (GDPR). Under this legislation, the Department for Transport is the “Data Controller” and NatCen is the “Data Processor” on behalf of the Department for Transport. We will both hold your information on the basis of “Public Task” because our research aims to tell people in government, charities and universities what people really think. The anonymised datasets - on the basis of “Public Task” - will be kept indefinitely, as they will continue to be useful to researchers and policy makers.

Will I have access to my data?

Once data is has been processed so we cannot identify you, or survey results have been published, we would not be able to change the results by removing individual information. However, you have the right to request access to your data, to amend it if it is incorrect, or to ask for it to be deleted.

What if I change my mind about taking part?

You are under no obligation take part in any questionnaire. Participation is completely voluntary – it’s your choice. You can change your mind at any point about taking part.

Any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact NatCen on Freephone 0800 652 4569 or by emailing

Information on how to contact the Data Protection Officer, exercise your rights in relation to your personal data, and on how to complain, can be found at:

You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (