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delphiandomine

Dover arrivals - foot passengers

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Hi all,

 

I've got a question that's intrigued me for several years, but it's only now that I've found a forum where people might know.

 

I was in Calais for a daytrip back in 2007 as a foot passenger. We came back - cleared French (non-existent...) passport control along with the UK controls in the Calais terminal (is it still as dreadful as it was then?). Arriving at Dover, we got taken on the bus and dropped off at what appeared to be the back of the travel centre.

 

Now - the question - what was the infrastructure that we had to pass through? The first room was a large empty room with what appeared to be the type of desks found at passport control in UK airports, with the next room having some sort of strange conveyor belts like in an airport. After we went through those two rooms, we entered a long long corridor where some Customs guy was randomly checking people - but there was no red/green/blue channel, he just appeared out of a side room.

 

My best guess is that the first room was where passport controls were carried out before the introduction of the juxtaposed controls, but what's the story with the conveyor belts?

 

Actually, another question - I was reading online about some foot passenger lounge in Dover for departing passengers, which was then closed after Seafrance pulled out of using it. Where was this, and were French passport controls previously carried out in the terminal?

 

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Foot passengers with luggage they don't want on board can leave them in baggage vans at Calais and they are (or at least were, I've not travelled as a footie for a few years now) reunited with them on the conveyor belts. It may be that you just pick it up off the baggage van at the bottom of the gangway and drag it onto the bus nowadays.

 

The foot passenger departure lounge was a large space upstairs with shops and a balcony area to watch proceedings from. The busses for boarding pulled up outside at the lounge level. At some time in the early 2000s the whole upstairs area was closed off and everything consolidated in the booking hall downstairs with buses leaving from outside the main entrance to that.

 

Dover has always been a cramped, ugly and inelegant port but in some ways thfe foot passenger experience was vaguely tolerable when this setup was in operation.

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I thought the travel centre was pretty good - remember it fondly from when I went to visit Barfleur. Found it quite comfortable, has it been demolishd then?

 

Always remember trying to use the pay internet there when my wifi wouldn't connect!! I am wanting to revisit Dover again, there is a possibility I am going to afford to go again, was only thinkng a couple of days ago. Just to see the town and visit some of the places I planned to a few years ago before my income nosedived!!! So be interested to learn about the travel centre as would consider another non lander trip. I would like to go to Calais again but think it is a bit iffy at the moment. Liked Calais.

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The baggage system was used for coach pasengers too? When Customs wanted to search a coach all the baggage came off and you were put thro' the foothall?

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Currently foot passengers have Security, then French immigration (PAF) and UK immigration (UKBF) checks in Calais. On arrival in Dover, the area foot passengers walk through is UK Customs checks, but this is again carried out by UKBF.

 

There used to be a foot passenger departure lounge proper (upstairs) in Dover, but this was closed many years ago.

 

Up until the demolition of the travel centre, outbound foot passengers checked in and waited there, and there was a Coffee / snack type outlet. Now there is a foot passenger check in area in what was the old arrival halls, and a Coffee shop.

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Are therecany photos of the facilities as they are now - fond menories of sitting in the coffee shop in the travel centre waiting for Barfleur/Spirit of France. It was sitting in there that I learned of Barfleur's return to Poole. Remember the wifi was playing up, had trouble connecting to post!!😉

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