Complaints procedure

How to complain if you’re unhappy with the service you get from the Department for Transport or one of its agencies or other bodies.

Making a complaint to the Department for Transport’s agencies

Each of our agencies has its own complaints procedure. Please click on the appropriate link below for further details.

Other public bodies in the DfT family operate their own separate complaints procedures. If you have a complaint about the service provided by one of those bodies, please contact the organisation direct.

Making a complaint to the Department for Transport

If you have a complaint about our service, the best way to resolve it will usually be to contact the member of staff you have been dealing with. You can do this over the phone, by email or in writing.

If you feel that this isn’t the right way to resolve your complaint, or you’ve already tried and are not happy with the outcome, then you can contact the DfT complaints team.

You can email them at Dftcomplaints@dft.gsi.gov.uk or write to them at:


Complaints Team
Department for Transport
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

Telephone: 0300 330 3000

The complaints team will pass your complaint to the head of the division you have been dealing with (or to their line manager if the complaint is about the head of division themselves).

The division should acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and will provide a full response within 20 working days. Please note that the Complaints Team is not able to consider complaints that relate to the Department for Transport’s agencies or other bodies. Each agency and public body has its own separate complaints procedure which you will need to follow.

The Independent Complaints Assessor

If you feel your complaint is still unresolved after going through the above complaints procedure, and your complaint is about the quality of the service we have provided or a member of our staff, you can ask us to refer your complaint to the a Department for Transport Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA).

To ask for your complaint to be referred to the an ICA, please contact the DfT complaints team at Dftcomplaints@dft.gsi.gov.uk or write to them at:

Complaints Team
Department for Transport
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

Find out more information about what the ICAs covers and how to complain to them.

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman

There may be times when you’ve tried to resolve the complaint with us direct, including having received an independent review by the ICA, and you’re still dissatisfied.

If so, you may want to ask a Member of Parliament to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

You can find out more on the PHSO website.

It’s important to follow the steps in the complaints process as set out above for the central department, or for the agency or other body that you’ve been dealing with. The ICA and PHSO will both expect you to have tried to resolve your complaint at the earlier stages of our complaints procedure before they look into it.

Complaints about legislation or government policy

This page tells you how to complain if you’re unhappy with our service to you.

This complaints procedure does not cover complaints about government policies or laws. If you want to complain about a policy or a law you should contact the department or your local MP.

Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, Data Protection Act

Step 1

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for information (ie an FOI request or a request handled under the Environmental Information Regulations), or with the decisions made in relation to your request, you may complain in writing to:

Information Rights Unit
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
Hastings
East Sussex TN37 7GA

email: FOI-Advice-Team-DFT@dft.gsi.gov.uk

An independent DfT official who was not involved in making the original decision will then carry out an internal review of the our handling of your request. We aim to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although in complex cases we may occasionally need longer. The independent reviewer will write to you setting out their decision.

You should also write to the same address if you have a complaint about our publication scheme.

Step 2

If you are unhappy with the results of DfT’s internal review, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner.

If you have a question about the outcome of a Data Protection Act query please contact the Data Protection Officer.