**UPDATED** Tobacco Coach Trips, Listings and Ratings

A good friend of ours is compiling a list of coach companies that do tobacco shopping trips to Belgium/France via the ferries and the tunnel. We intend to keep this up to date and informative. lf you know of any coach companies that do this that are not listed by us ... please tell us about them and how good they are and we'll add them to the list.

This is the listing so far   May dates 2012

We want to go further than this because some of the coach companies look as though they are run by the UKBA! What's the bloody point of going on a trip for a mere 1kg of tobacco for god's sake? They are doing UKBA's job for them! To us they are the UKBA/Border Force in disguise and we would never use them.

So here's our view on the coach companies .... the good, fair and the bad.

GOOD


FIVE STAR GROUP TRAVEL  (Liverpool)

EUROSUN  (Lowestoft, Suffolk. Southrepps, Norfolk)

AVISTA (Chesterfield)

COACH INNOVATIONS (Kidderminster)

GODSON'S TRAVEL (Leeds)

BUZZLINES TRAVEL (Hythe, Kent)

CHENERY TRAVEL (Norwich)

GROSVENOR (Birmingham)

ROSS TRAVEL (Featherstone)

COLISEUM COACHES (Southampton)


LJ EDWARDS (Hallsham, East Sussex)

BARCROFT (St Leonards, East Sussex)


These companies impose no limits according to recent contact with them but you have to be aware that if UKBA/Border Force are interviewing you that these interviews could and do last for hours. You can't realistically expect the coach to wait that long for you so you'll have to make a choice. Either arrange with UKBA/BF for a interview at a later date or you let the coach go and make your own way back. Of course this being left behind is used by UKBA/BF to pressurise you into leaving your goods! Be ready for this tactic.


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FAIR

TOURS R US (Southend)

This company imposes a limit of 3200 cigarettes/3kg of tobacco. Better than the guidelines but still pants in our eyes.

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UNSATISFACTORY

HARRY SHAW (Coventry)

I've put Harry Shaw here unless l hear from a customer otherwise. They state online that HMRC suggested limits should be strictly adhered to. When l rang them they started quoting me limits and allowances as stated by HMRC that they had on their walls 'from' HMRC. Whether HMRC had sent something out like this l don't know. l wouldn't put it past them. I told them there was no such thing but they kept saying that's what it says! Anyway, upshot was l asked them if l brought 5kg onboard would the driver stop me ... they said no. So, it's up to you whether you use them or not.


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BAD


CROSSKEYS (Folkestone)
(In their own words:- Our company policy is to follow the HM Revenue & Customs guide lines of 1kg of tobacco only, we will not carry any more than this amount per person. Should you book with us it would be in accordance with our company policy.
Our driver reserves the right to check passenger bags for excessive amounts tobacco, in the event of excessive amounts being found the driver will refuse to carry the goods.)


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IMPORTANT


If you are using one of these companies DON'T be an idiot and try and hide tobacco on the coach! You put the coach company at risk of their coach being seized! l don't think the rest of the passengers will be pleased about this and even less so with you!

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CAN WE DO IT OURSELVES?


Our friend also put forward the possibility of doing it ourselves and by ourselves l mean all of us together. We'd need a basic mini-bus and perhaps run not as a business but along the lines of lifts for 'friends'? That way we could smoke in it :) Your thoughts would be appreciated.


31 comments:

  1. I travelled with COACH INNOVATIONS when about 15 of us were stopped by Customs. We were held up for 4 hours and I was told the coach would wait for all of us. At the time they had no restrictions on amount of tobacco, the advice being "within reason".

    It'a a real quick trip and we were picked up nr Oxford on the M40 at 21:00 and had it not been for the hold up we would have been heading back to the UK through the tunnel at 5:00am.

    Couldn't fault the drivers (very professional and know what they're doing), the company and would definitely travel with them again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coventry area-Harry Shaw Travel. Quote "Please remember all items must be for personal consumption and Customs and Excise suggested limits must be strictly adhered to."

      ER

      Delete
    2. I also travelled with Coach innovations they are a very good company.Our coach was pulled at Dover UKBA everyone on the coach was interviewed, some had their goods seized.
      I am referring now to the inlay on a UK/EU Passport that says her Britannic Majesty requests unhindered passage blah blah blah, to hold a coach and it's passengers for 4+hours is not allowing unhindered passage, couple this with the fact that the interview area was basically a building site and you have to ask how legally UKBA are acting ? I have reported the conditions to HSE, I have also sent a letter of complaint to Theresa May (sec of State) and UKBA as yet there has been no reply!
      I did also mention that should a coach I am travelling on be stopped again in the same manner I would start a protest effectively blocking the port of Dover until the coach is released. If the law won't act within the law how do they expect citizens to act within the law ?

      Delete
  2. Had a very nice long weekend away with http://www.nationalholidays.com/
    We were taken to Folkestone, where we spent 3 nights at the Grand Burstin Hotel, where we had a smoking bedroom. On the Saturday, we were taken to the ferry in Dover, across to Calais, then a trip to Bruges. My wife and I brought back 7kg of tobacco.
    Thoroughly recommended. A cheap and very pleasant long weekend/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. l'll look them up Tim. Thanks for the info.

      Delete
    2. I didn't put holidays on the list , just 'shoppers'. otherwise the list would be massive.
      National do several excellent value 'short breaks' as well as the Co-op and others. Also some of the shopper companies. It is a viable alternative.
      Something for later maybe

      Delete
  3. Hello, are you talking about buying a minibus between people, I would be very interested in this if only to see peoples faces as we were smoking as we go along.
    John Gibson

    ReplyDelete
  4. The 1kg of tobacco and 800 cigs plus frequent traveller nonsense applies to cross border shoppers from Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the good folk of Kent, How fair is that, btw Honest George will put his name down to be the BUS DRIVER and Rosslyn wants to be the TROLLY DOLLY or HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST

    ReplyDelete
  5. Trouble with this bus thing is, First person to have goods seized would mean the rest would have their goods seized as part of the same group, Travelling together. ~~ and everyone would be doing the WALK~ WALK HOME
    .............Bus would be seized as well if only for spite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They could try George ... they could try :) Their problem would be that everyone aboard would be individuals purchasing their own goods. Me and Zaphod never know what the other is purchasing and we do this on purpose. That way we can't answer questions on each other. Everyone onboard would be like that.

      Of course their main problem would be that the minibus would be full of people who are well prepared and 'up for it' should we be stopped. We'd bring Dover Customs to a standstill! We'd be their worst nightmare!

      Delete
    2. In that case SH everone would be safe as houses, And the nice Goonies would play by the rules and regulations and not get involved in being the usual basrards. Hmmmmm

      Delete
  6. Don't buy a mininbus hire it. UKBA/BF will have a hard time trying to get their hands on that..
    P&O Hull do a fair deal for mini-buses as does the chunnel.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Better idea, refloat the Costa Concordia and find a Goonie with a suitable sounding moniker to be captain, Then we could all bring in what we wanted and not be branded smuggler, Criminals, Liars or feekin RACISTS.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A lot of places won't hire out vans or even cars if they are going to be used abroad (I know, I've asked before now) and those that do charge accordingly to cover the extra insurance.

    I know some still do but it will raise the cost of it.

    Better for all the passengers to return as footpassengers. Go over via Dover-Dunkerque (fairly decent covered smoking deck behind main bar) but return via Calais cos the Dunkerque line doesn't take footpassengers. Calais is only half an hour or so further down the motorway on the way back from Real.

    Anyways, sign me up if it is a day trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinking more of a private 12-15 seat minibus from Vantrader or similar. Insure it as private and passengers will all be 'mates'. Avoid being a business as such. Rates for Dover are reasonable to split up for foot pax and the minibus. P/O from Hull split you up anyway and pax have to come off as foot pax ... or if not, do it anyway. Group rates are very good if over 10 pax go ... minibus goes free. So far it looks good.

      l say it's doing what that idiot Cameron wanted ... the 'Big Society' lol

      Delete
  9. We had our 40 kilos of tobacco seized from us...and OUR CAR! We smoke about 20 a day each and this would have lasted us over 3 months but they because our last trip 2 weeks before where we fly into Prestwick with 5 kilos of baccy (for the 2 of us)and had that taken too...it's just not fair. We cannot afford to lose again, that is 3 times they've taken from us!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you doing anything we advise? Particularly the recording of the interview and NOT signing their notebook?

      Prestwick Airport is George's favourite place ... NOT!

      Delete
    2. @Anon

      No bloody wonder you lost them! 20kg each is 400 pouches and at a pouch a day would last over a year. Double that if you only smoke 20 a day!

      lf you cant get your facts right you'll be screwed. FFS Smokey even gives a calculator for baccy and cigs!

      Delete
    3. I roll cigs using king size tubes and get 62 per 50g pouch.

      2kg ( 40 pouches) gives about 14 cigs a day for 6 months.

      I've prepared a folder for Adinkerke run next week.

      Starts with a print copy of UKBA's own pdf file, copies of motor insurance docs showing 6 monthly travel dates, calculation of usage, copies of cash point receipts to show where money comes from etc.

      Needless to say I'll also have recorder running.

      Probably a bit ott but.......

      Delete
    4. No, l don't think it is ott. You are in effect going to war, why should you leave any weapons behind?

      Delete
  10. Anon is either a troll or one of those Brits who still aren't up on the metric system- someone who thinks a 50g pack is a kilo.

    ...just the practicality of trying to fit 40KG of baccy into the average car....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 40kg would fit easily into an average car, I carried 10kg by hand on a coach trip so it wouldn't be a problem. I actually got stopped but managed to avoid going to a full interview so can only imagine Anon didn't give the "right" answers or has got "form".

      This was my first trip abroad in over 10 years and I was adamant the tobacco was for my own use even though the guidelines state only 1kg.

      Delete
    2. I find that 3kg is about my limit for carrying by hand- not from the weight but the bulk....but I smoke tobacco that comes in tubs. However I have seen the 1kg boxes of GV that are sold in 'duty frees' (they aren't)...the thought of trying to fit forty of these http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YTeAcUPk8pY/Ty6nLQ4Oe3I/AAAAAAAAA88/SRIShb21QpU/s1600/IMG338.jpg into an average car with two passengers and their luggage...or the thought of lugging ten of them by hand..

      Not saying it can't be done but..

      Delete
  11. Hi
    I am amazed there is not a minibus from calais to adinkerke. Just wondering how many takers there would be if I ran car from calais adinkerke return at £10 per person. Means booking as foot passenger on ferry and no fear of car being seized. Feedback would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
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  13. Hi ,how much tobacco can bring coach of Belgium in uk?
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"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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