Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

Sustrans and our third-party partners, such as our ecommerce, email, advertising and analytics partners, use various technologies to collect information, such as cookies. A cookie is a small text file that is downloaded onto your computer or smartphone when you access a website. It allows the website to recognise your device and store some information about your preferences or past actions.

Why do we use cookies and tracking technologies?

We use cookies and other technologies to improve and customise our websites and your experience; to understand usage of our websites and the interests of our customers; to determine whether an email has been opened and acted upon; and to present you with information relevant to your interests.

How do we use cookies and other tracking technologies?

Where strictly necessary and for functionality

These cookies and other technologies are essential in order to enable our websites to function and to make your use of our websites more tailored.

  • ARRAffinity: This cookie is set by websites run on the Windows Azure cloud platform. It is used for load balancing to make sure the visitor page requests are routed to the same server in any browsing session. The main purpose of this cookie is strictly necessary. Expires after 1 year.

For measuring website usage

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use our websites. We do this to help make sure our sites are meeting user needs and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit on our websites
  • how long you spend on each page

  • how you got to the websites

  • what you click on while you are visiting the websites.

We keep track of certain information about you when you visit and interact with any of our websites. This information includes the features you use, the links you click on, frequently used search terms and comments you post in forums.

We collect information about your computer, phone, tablet, or other devices you use to access our websites. We also collect information through your device about your operating system, browser type, IP address, URLs of referring/exit pages and device identifiers.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

  • _ga: Registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the web site. Expires after 2 years
  • _gat: Used by Google Analytics to throttle request rate. Expires at end of session.
  • _gid: Registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the web site. Expires at end of session.
  • Collect: Used to send data to Google Analytics about the visitor's device and behaviour. Tracks the visitor across devices and marketing channels. Expires at end of session.
  • _utma: Like _ga, this lets us know if you’ve visited before, so we can count how many of our visitors are new to or to a certain page. Expires after 2 years.
  • _utmb: Works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on our website. Expires after 30 minutes.
  • _utmc: This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser. Expires when you close your browser
  • _utmz: This tells us how you reached us (for example from another website or a search engine). Expires after 6 months.

For measuring email (including electronic newsletters) performance

Our emails may contain a single, campaign-unique web beacon pixel to tell us whether our emails are opened and verify any clicks through to links or advertisements within the email.

We may use this information for purposes including determining which of our emails are more interesting to users, to query whether users who do not open our emails wish to continue receiving them and to inform our advertisers in aggregate how many users have clicked on their advertisements.

The pixel will be deleted when you delete the email. If you do not wish the pixel to be downloaded to your device, you should select to receive emails from us in plain text rather than HTML.

For social media 

These cookies are used when you share information using a social media sharing button or “like” button on our websites or you link your account or engage with our content on or through a social media site. The social network will record that you have done this. This information may be linked to targeting/advertising activities.


  • VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE: Tries to estimate user bandwidth on pages with integrated YouTube videos. Expires after 179 days.
  • YSC: Registers a unique ID to keep statistics of what videos from YouTube the user has seen. Expires at end of session.
  • PREF: YouTube Registers a unique ID that is used by Google to keep statistics of how the visitor uses YouTube videos across different websites. Expires after 8 months.


  • php/#: Used by Facebook to register impressions on pages with the Facebook log in button. Expires at end of session.

Add This

  • cww: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis. Persistent.
  • _atrfs: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis
  • at-lojson-cache-#: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis. Persistent.
  • at-rand: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis. Persistent.
  • bt2: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis to keep a record of parts of the site that have been visited in order to recommend other parts of the site. Expires after 255 days.
  • Vc: Used by the social sharing platform AddThis. Expires at end of session.

How can you manage your cookies or opt-out?

To opt-out of our use of cookies, you can instruct your browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from websites you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all aspects of our websites.

You will not be able to opt-out of any cookies or other technologies that are “strictly necessary” for our websites.

Find out more about how to manage cookies.

Sustrans is a registered charity in England and Wales (number 326550) and Scotland (SCO 39263) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No 1797726 at 2 Cathedral Square, Bristol, BS1 5DD.

Updated: 15 July 2019