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John M

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About John M

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 16/11/1957

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  1. I recently travelled on the Thursday night Plymouth Roscoff crossing as we do twice a year. We had gone to the port earlier in the afternoon as we had seen on this site that things had changed at Plymouth. We came back later for the early boarding. We passed through the ticket booths and were given clear, simple instructions, i.e. move forward and go into lane 15. As we reached the car in front of us we stopped, switched off the engine and waited to move through the customs shed. A BF employee came and stood a few feet away from us and was telling the drivers which lane to go into. One driver followed the instruction but only after a short argument stating that he wanted to be in a different lane. The BF employee moved away and the aforementioned driver decided to reverse across four lanes and then drive into the lane of his choice. You can imagine the chaos as he reversed into oncoming traffic. At this point he parked across the zebra crossing and several cars parked behind him. He then became very agitated when a group of French teachers and school children following the crossing passed round him front and rear. In the space of twenty minutes we witnessed another three cars do the same thing. I have to ask myself why? As it happened, the three lanes these cars ended up in were the last to pass through the customs shed and were nearly last to embark. I did wonder if a BF employee had seen them and made sure this happened. I just do not know what the point of all this was. And breathe, rant over.
  2. John M

    Budget hotels .

    In general I have found Premier Inns to be good in various locations in the UK. We have used the Ibis in Plymouth many times and find it to be consistent in cleanliness and comfort. They also have a basic menu at reasonable prices. In France we have used the Kyriad chain, in particular the one in Lannion. Very clean and comfortable with a fantastic continental breakfast and all at a very reasonable price. John
  3. Firstly please let me relate the tale of our recent holiday travel. We sailed Plymouth - Roscoff overnight 9th June. We had received a text message to say the Pont was running late from Santander so early boarding would not be possible. We joined the queue in plenty of time and passed through the first checkpoint without incident. We waited a short time to be called through the search building where it became obvious that only about one in ten vehicles were being searched and even then only a cursory check. We settled in the holding area only to be surprised by the loading starting after only about ten minutes. All through this process, the only security visible was in the search garage. Forward then to our return, Roscoff - Plymouth 24th June. We arrived at Roscoff and quickly went through ticket check/ passport check. Whilst waiting to move into the final holding area, the only vehicles being checked were caravans, motor homes and vans. We moved into the final holding area, again no sign of any extra security, after about twenty minutes wait we moved onto the ferry. On arrival at Plymouth, no sign of any security at all, we passed through passport control/ immigration and as we passed the customs shed it was closed and in darkness. This to me indicated a lack of intention to search any vehicle. My question is this :- does anyone else find this lack of security acceptable or does anyone, like me, think that if you are going to do something then do it properly. I find the lack of serious searching/questioning totally unacceptable. I understand the implications of delays due to security implementations but we are talking about the safety of hundreds of people.
  4. John M

    Security delays at French Ports

    Having served in and then worked with the military all my adult life myself and my family are quite used to 'enhanced' security checks and therefore perhaps have a higher tolerance for delays etc. These days seem to be heading back to the way we were in the eighties and nineties at the height of the IRA, and other, atrocities. So we will smile sweetly, answer questions politely and as we are asked/ told and get on the ship/ out of the port when we do. No point in getting wound up, it does nobody any good. John
  5. John M

    Good news for EE customers

    Thanks for the reminder hf_uk. I spoke to a guy a few years ago who got caught out, a huge bill for data routed through Cyprus if my memory serves me right. John
  6. I am 18 months into a two year Extra account with EE so I have always been able to use the minutes and messages from my plan while I am in France. I am also aware that all new EE accounts (and I think many other providers) now also allow you to,use the data while in France. As we do two or three trips a year to France I was looking forward to November when I can get a new contract and use everything in France. Imagine my surprise to receive a text today informing me that, as of the 15th June, I can use my minutes, messages AND data whilst in France. A very pleasant surprise and totally out of the blue. Thanks EE. John
  7. John M

    A Few Changes...

    Thank you all for your work in keeping the site up to date and easy to use. I like the new look, it is easy on the eye and looks professional and business like. Well done. John
  8. John M

    Plymouth hotels 2017

    We have used the Plymouth Ibis several times and would certainly recommend it. Comfortable big sized beds, good size rooms. The food in the bar is basic but good and well priced.
  9. John M

    Plymouth terminal

    I remember reading a few years ago that BF would ultimately like to build a new terminal building at Plymouth. One drawback would be a lack of space to build whilst still operating from the old one. Now that it has been announced that Stonehouse barracks is to be sold off, I wonder if BF would consider purchasing some of the land to go ahead with a new terminal building. Just thinking out loud really, but wonder what other people may think. John
  10. John M

    Off on the Pont

    Got it, many thanks Neil. John
  11. John M

    Off on the Pont

    Is instagram easy to use Neil?
  12. Heading to Roscoff Thursday overnight on the Pont Aven. Spending 17 days in the Perros Guirec area then coming back on the Armorique. Will try to remember to post trip reports and photos. John
  13. Heading to Roscoff Thursday overnight on the Pont Aven. Spending 17 days in the Perros Guirec area then coming back on the Armorique. Will try to remember to post trip reports and photos. John
  14. John M

    French Security Delays

    When I was doing control of entry to military units we used to call it the attitude test. If, when asked to open the boot and bonnet, you throw a strop, you are either an a******e or you have something to hide. Either way you were going nowhere fast. Bear in mind the person doing the checking is doing an 8 or even 12 hour shift whereas you are trying to catch a ferry, who has the most to lose?
  15. John M

    French Security Delays

    When I was doing control of entry to military units we used to call it the attitude test. If, when asked to open the boot and bonnet, you throw a strop, you are either an a******e or you have something to hide. Either way you were going nowhere fast. Bear in mind the person doing the checking is doing an 8 or even 12 hour shift whereas you are trying to catch a ferry, who has the most to lose?
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