Core complaints data

We are responsible for the collection, monitoring and publication of rail customer complaints. ORR took on the data collection responsibility from the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2010.

ORR are responsible for monitoring compliance with how train operators handle customer complaints, this is known as the ‘Complaints handling procedure (CHP)’. The data we publish is used to monitor train and station operator’s compliance towards these policies.

Complaints data we publish

Every quarter we publish a range of data on the rail customer complaints, at both a national level and by train operator. The United Kingdom Statistics Authority designated these statistics as National Statistics. National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value.

We publish the following complaints data, at both national level and by train operator.

  • Complaints rate per 100,000 journeys
  • Complaints by category - detail about the type of complaints made
  • Complaints by contact method - the method customers use to make a complaint
  • Complaints responded to within 10 and 20 working days and the train operators own target - the response to the complaints

The complaints data can be accessed on our Data Portal, with statistics made available by quarter and financial year.

Complaints data submission

Train operators must use the complaints template (found within the related documents) to submit data to ORR from April 2016.

We have produced guidance to explain the requirements for the data collection (also within the related documents section).

Guidance on complaints handling procedures for licence holders is available.

For further information regarding complaints data or if you have any comments, please email

ORR core data compliance reporting

Train operating companies (TOCs) are required to provide us with performance data in relation to their passenger-facing activities. This data provides a way for these companies to demonstrate they are complying with their obligations to passengers in relation to complaints handling procedures (CHPs), Disabled people's protection policies (DPPPs), and other consumer-related areas. It also allows us to monitor operators' progress in these areas over time and improves transparency and accountability for passengers.

As part of these arrangements we also require TOCs to sign a letter at the outset of each reporting year to provide assurance that the data they provide has been submitted following the consistent approach set out in the ORR core data guidance and is an accurate reflection of their performance.

Core data compliance reporting assurance from train companies - 2019-20

Background to complaints data

In 2010, following an agreement with DfT, we took responsibility for collecting the complaints data directly from the train operating companies (TOCs).