Record lost property haul in London
Published 07/06/2011 | 11:44
A record amount of lost property - ranging from books and bags to suitcases, crutches and even an invitation to the royal wedding - has been left on public transport and taxis in London during the past year.
More than 207,000 items were handed into Transport for London's (TfL) lost property office after being found on buses, Tubes, trains, taxis or stations.
Books were the most common item left by passengers, with 41,000 handed in, as well as 31,000 bags and 28,000 items of clothing.
Other goods left behind included sports gear, folders of school work, toys, power tools, pushchairs, suitcases, walking sticks and even crutches.
A handbag containing an invitation to the royal wedding was recently handed in.
Around a third of the goods found on public transport were eventually reunited with the owner.
TfL'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.
"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 were books (41,370), bags (31,005), clothing (28,672), valuables such as cameras and laptops (25,665), telephones (23,432), keys (10,632), glasses/sunglasses (10,150), umbrellas (8,052), jewellery (4,243) and gloves (3,725).