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Train operators scrap lost property charge following concerns

By Richard Guttridge | Telford | Transport | Published:

A charge on rail users for retrieving lost property has been scrapped by two operators.

Customers previously had to pay if they wanted to get back possessions, such as keys, wallets and phones, that had been left on trains or at stations – a rule that has left many frustrated.

But now West Midlands Railway and Northwestern Railway, which run dozens of services in the region, have announced they are removing the charge.

Passengers had been made to pay up to £20 to get some items back, such as laptops and cameras, and £10 for mobile phones.

The changes were introduced yesterday and apply to both the return of personal belongings and cash.

Both train operators launched a review of the lost property scheme they inherited when they took over a host of regional services in December 2017.

Website

Bosses said they were concerned the charge – as well as the complicated process of getting possessions back – had put many off trying. A new website is also being launched in a bid to reunite travellers with lost items more quickly.

David Whitley, head of customer experience strategy for West Midlands Railway London Northwestern Railway, said: “We identified that there were significant improvements that could be made to the system in place for reuniting customers with their lost items.

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"We want to make the process as easy as possible. Dropping the charges is just the first step. Many people may also be put off by needing to make numerous phone calls to track down their possessions – so we are now working on a website to make this process easier.”

West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway will be launching the website in the new year. It will enable items to be reported as lost, logged as found, identified and claimed securely and quickly.

More information is available at londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk and westmidlandsrailway.co.uk

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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