The information on this page explains how Transport for London (TfL), including its subsidiaries and service providers, uses information collected via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems across London's transport network. It also describes how long that information is kept and the limited circumstances in which we might disclose it to a third party.
What types of camera systems does TfL operate?
TfL's CCTV is used to capture and monitor images of what takes place in specific locations in real time. The images may also be recorded. Depending on the type of camera, the images are recorded on video tape (analogue) or as digital information. Cameras can be fixed or set to scan an area or they can be operated remotely by controllers.
The cameras used to enforce the Road User Charging scheme are ANPR cameras which capture number plate data in the form of text rather than images. A still photographic image is captured for evidential purposes in the event a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued.
Why does TfL operate CCTV and ANPR cameras?
TfL operates CCTV and ANPR systems for four main purposes:
- Health and safety of employees, passengers and other members of the public
- Prevention and detection of crime and anti social behaviour
- Real time traffic monitoring and road network management
- Traffic enforcement in respect of certain road contraventions (e.g. yellow box junctions, red routes and bus lanes) and enforcement of the Road User Charging Schemes
Where does TfL operate CCTV or ANPR systems?
TfL operates CCTV or ANPR cameras in the following locations.
- At all London Underground stations and car parks and on some Underground trains
- On and around the piers used by London River and Woolwich Ferry Services, as well as the Woolwich ferries themselves
- In and around Victoria Coach Station
- On Docklands Light railway stations, platforms and trains
- Local bus stations
- London Overground stations, platforms and trains
- Croydon Tramlink platforms and trams
- Across London's road network for monitoring road traffic and for traffic enforcement
- Across London's road network for enforcement of the Road User Charging Scheme
How long does TfL keep CCTV or ANPR footage?
Recorded CCTV footage is only retained for a limited time period, which varies depending on the type and location of the camera, and the purpose of its use. In general, retention periods range between 48 hours and 30 days. The standard retention period for footage or images recorded on CCTV at LU stations is 14 days.
Any images captured for traffic enforcement purposes (including the Road User Charging Schemes) can be retained for a longer period in the event a Penalty Charge Notice is issued for non-payment.
How can customers access their personal data in relation to CCTV?
You can request copies of images or footage of yourself by making a Subject Access Request. Read more about making a Subject Access Request.
You will need to provide as much information as possible regarding specific date, time and location of the footage you require. You will also need to submit a clear full length photograph of yourself with your request so that we can identify you when searching for the relevant footage.
There is a separate process if you wish to obtain copies of still photographic images captured by the Road User Charging cameras. Read more about obtaining photographic images.
Does TfL receive requests from the police for the disclosure of personal information captured on TfL CCTV or ANPR systems?
Yes. At our discretion, we may disclose personal data in response to valid requests from the police and other statutory law enforcement agencies.
Before we authorise any disclosure, the police have to demonstrate that the personal data concerned will assist them in the prevention or detection of a specific crime, or in the apprehension or prosecution of an offender.
Each request from the police is dealt with on a strictly case-by-case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Data from the ANPR cameras used to enforce the Road User Charging scheme is made available to the Metropolitan Police Service for the purpose of safeguarding national security.
Does TfL share CCTV footage with other third parties?
Yes, but only in very limited circumstances. As with disclosures to the police, each request is dealt with on a case-by-case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
We may also disclose personal data if required to do so by law. The Data Protection Act allows us to do this where the request is supported by evidence of the relevant legislation which requires the disclosure, or a court order.
Some of TfL's CCTV infrastructure is shared with third parties such as the police and local authorities. In certain agreed circumstances, they may take control of a limited number of roadside cameras and use them for activities such as the prevention and detection of crime and anti social behaviour, policing major events and crowd control. TfL is not responsible for the CCTV when it is in the control of a third party.
CCTV in taxis and private hire vehicles
London's taxis and private hire vehicles are licensed and regulated by TfL but services are provided by independent operators and drivers.
Some licensed taxis and private hire vehicles have CCTV installed for the purpose of health and safety and the prevention and detection of crime. An individual taxi or private hire driver or operator can choose to install CCTV and they are then fully responsible for the CCTV in each case. TfL's Taxi and Private Hire Directorate provides formal guidance to drivers and operators wishing to install CCTV, which outlines the standards to which the equipment must comply. Download the CCTV guidance (PDF 85KB).
Where installed, CCTV equipment is examined as part of the annual vehicle licensing inspection required for taxi and private hire vehicles.
If you require access to images of yourself captured inside a vehicle you should contact the company or driver who operates that particular service. You can find this information from signage displayed inside each vehicle with CCTV installed.
CCTV on London buses
London's bus services are operated by individual bus companies on behalf of TfL. Any CCTV on London buses is the responsibility of the company that runs that particular service or route.
If you require access to images of yourself recorded by a CCTV camera inside a bus you should contact the company who operates that particular bus route. You can find this information from signage displayed inside each vehicle.