Transport for London's latest lost property figures show more than £200,000 was left on public transport over the past year

Abigail Smith
No word on how many large instruments were left behind
No word on how many large instruments were left behind (Source: Getty)

Welcome to the “wonder emporium”. That’s how Paul Cowan has described the room he manages - the Transport for London (TfL) lost property office.

And according to TfL’s latest transparency data, from April last year to March of this year, a huge 286,994 objects were recovered from the capital's transport network.

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It seems the phrase “count the pennies and the pounds will count themselves” holds true on the Tube - all the money lost on the wider transport network added up to £203,583 altogether. Passengers have 12 months to collect any money they lose - or three months if you lost it in a black cab.

The most commonly lost items were books, documentation and bank cards - 93,631 of these were recovered between April 2016 to March 2017.

Some 3,151 shoes were recovered, along with 12,714 rucksacks and 9,869 umbrellas. It looks like a whole lot of Londoners were locked out of the house at some point too, as 11,826 sets of keys were recovered over the period.

People were most likely to lose their possessions on the bus, where 54.9 per cent of all lost property was collected, followed by 39.4 per cent which was found on the Underground.

The office is still filled with objects too, as just 9.4 per cent of lost objects have been reclaimed by the public.

The items which are not reclaimed are donated to charity, or sold at public auction. These sales have raised £915,609 since 2015. For 2016/17 £256,754 was made from lost property.

TfL said that all revenue contributes directly towards the cost of providing a lost property service.

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