Privacy and Cookies

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small text file used by web service to write information to your computer or smartphone for use later on. For example, the web service might write a unique user ID or session ID so that it recognises you again when you load the next page of the website.

There are many different ways in which cookies are used, and you have the right enshrined in UK and European Law to control how websites use cookies on your device.

Depending on the purpose of the cookie, you have some rights to access a service without the cookie being set. This right does not extend to cookies that are essential for the service to work, such as cookies that are set to control sessions or load balancing. They do apply though, to cookies that are used only for measuring service usage, personalisation or advertising.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Cookies can be categorised as follows:

_fbpThese cookies are used by Facebook to deliver, measure and improve the relevancy of ads shown either on Facebook or other digital platforms powered by Facebook.3 months
_gaThis is used to understand and differentiate between different users.38 months
_gatWe use Google Tag Manager to tailor our tracking in case we have different elements that are being tested. For example, setting a tag to track how far a user is having to scroll down a long page. The _gat tag pushes the request rate through quicker.1 minute
_gcl_auThis is a pattern type cookie set by Google Analytics, where the pattern element on the name contains the unique identity number of the account or website it relates to. It is a variation of the _gat cookie which is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.3 months
_gid_gid has a different ID for each page set on, and a timestamp. This assists with plotting user journeys.24 hours
YSCYouTube is a Google owned platform for hosting and sharing videos. YouTube collects user data through videos embedded in websites, which is aggregated with profile data from other Google services in order to display targeted advertising to web visitors across a broad range of their own and other websites.Session
CookieControlUsed to store the users cookie usage preferences3 months
sc_atSnapchat – Used to identify a visitor across multiple domains.10 months
X-ABSnapchat – This cookie is used by the website’s operator in context with multi-variate testing.1 day
spinFacebook – These help to deliver our advertising when you visit Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook Advertising5 days
datrFacebook – The purpose of the datr cookie is to identify the web browser being used to connect to Facebook independent of the logged in user. This cookie plays a key role in Facebook?s security and site integrity features.6 months
dprFacebook – the “dpr” and “wd” cookies, each with a lifespan of seven days, for purposes including to deliver an optimal experience for your device’s screen.5 days
frFacebook – the “fr” cookie is used to deliver, measure and improve the relevancy of ads, with a lifespan of 90 days.3 months
presenceFacebook – The presence cookie is used to contain the user?s chat state. For example, which chat tabs are open. This cookie is a session cookie.session
xsFacebook – Helps Facebook remember your browser so you don’t have to keep logging in to Facebook and so you can more easily log in to Facebook via third-party apps and websites.1 year
c_userFacebook – The c_user cookie contains the user ID of the currently logged in user.3 months
sbFacebook – Allows Facebook to recover your account in the event that you forget your password, or to require additional authentication if you tell us that your account has been hacked.”sb” and “dbln” cookies enable Facebook to identify your browser securely.6 months
CM360 AnalyticsCookies used for analytics help collect data that allows services to understand how users interact with a particular service. These insights allow services both to improve content and to build better features that improve the user?s experience.6 months
CM360 AdvertisingGoogle uses cookies for advertising, including serving and rendering ads, personalizing ads (depending on your ad settings at, limiting the number of times an ad is shown to a user, muting ads you have chosen to stop seeing, and measuring the effectiveness of ads.6 months
TikTok – MarketingThird-party advertising and marketing tracking technologies. These tracking technologies help us, and third parties in some cases, to promote services on other platforms and websites and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.24 months

Strictly necessary cookies

Some cookies we place on your device to ensure that the service delivers you information and services securely and optimally. The service is not able to function at all without these cookies, therefore you must accept them to be able to make use of our online systems.

Session ID

Wikipedia page about Session IDs

Microsoft Application Insights

Microsoft’s privacy policy

Preference cookies

Preference cookies enable our website to remember what preferences you have set. For example, we use a cookie to record what categories of cookies you have accepted. As this is necessary to remember your cookie preferences, you must accept preferences cookies.

Performance cookies

We use a number of tools that monitor visitor behaviour on our website to help us improve our information and services. They are not used to target or personalise advertising.

These cookies are important as they help us understand what content is most important to our users, where people may have problems using our services, and what content is not as important to them. This helps us to continue to improve our service to you and our users as an overall group.

These cookies use an anonymous ID, not personal information, and the data we collect are aggregated and used as a whole group for statistical analysis, not as individual users.

Google Analytics

Google’s privacy policy

Google Marketing Platform

(Some cookies used by GMP fall into the performance category).

Marketing Cookies

We may, from time to time, use target advertising or personalise content to help make you aware of our services or issues that may affect you. Marketing cookies help us do this.

These cookies use anonymous ID, not personal information, and the data we collect are aggregated and used as a whole group, not as individual users.

The third party services who collect this data for us may link it to your data or internet usage on other websites such as Facebook, but we do not have access to your personal data. The third party services use this technique to help us try to avoid advertising to people with no interest in our services.

Google Marketing Platform

(Some cookies used by GMP fall into the marketing category).

How do I change my browser’s cookie settings?

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit  or

Be wary though that blocking all cookies may prevent some web services from being able to set the cookies essential your delivering services such as e-commerce or log-in. You can also edit your preference for this website using the preference setting below. We store your preference for this in a preference cookie as described above.


Our concessionary travel and smart ticketing privacy policy (

Privacy Policy | National Entitlement Card

Links to other websites

When we link to other websites, we encourage you to read the privacy policy statements contained on those sites.