More than 207,000 items have been handed in to Transport for London’s Lost Property Office in the past year – the highest in its 77 year history.
The Lost Property Office handles items that are left behind on the TfL network, including buses, London Underground, London Overground, DLR, licensed taxis or in Victoria Coach Station.
It is one of the busiest lost property offices in the UK.
Books were the most common item left by passengers on the network with 41,000 handed into the Lost Property Office during 2010/11.
Passengers also handed in more than 31,000 bags and 28,000 items of clothing.
The variety of property handed in is vast and includes sports gear, folders of school work, toys, power tools, pushchairs, suitcases, walking sticks and even crutches.
One of the more interesting items handed in recently was a handbag containing an invitation to the Royal Wedding.
On average one in three items is reunited with its owner.
Transport for London’s Lost Property Office Manager, Paul Cowan, said:
“We do our best to reunite people with their property, through a combination of our own detective work, using Sherlock – our computer system and, of course, through passengers contacting us to claim items.
“Although we store property for three months, sadly a large number of items remain unclaimed after that period. In these instances items are donated to charity, sold at auction or recycled.
“We would encourage all passengers to check and make sure they take all their belongings with them. However, anyone who does lose something on public transport in London should get in touch with us at the Lost Property Office.
“People are generally honest and those treasured items that passengers thought they may have lost forever may actually be in our office just waiting to be picked up.”
The top 10 items left on the TfL network in the last year are:
- Books – 41,370
- Bags – 31,005
- Clothing – 28,672
- Valuables – 25,665
- Telephones – 23,432
- Keys – 10,632
- Glasses/Sunglasses – 10,150
- Umbrellas – 8,052
- Jewellery – 4,243
- Pair of Gloves – 3,725