Few tears for travel firm
Sunday 26 July 1992
At her car-hire booth at Dover's arrivals terminal, where she was helping some of the hundreds of Land Travel clients stranded for hours yesterday, Lesley Kiely said: 'The collapse doesn't surprise me. I went on a Land Travel weekend break to Amsterdam four years ago. The hotel was 50 miles from the city, the courier didn't change her clothes for days, and there was only one driver so he had to fiddle his tachograph.'
Stewart Martin, 30, a coach driver from Abingdon, worked with the firm until last year. He said: 'Some of their charges were daylight robbery. I went with a party to Austria. The company's courier was charging pounds 18 for day excursions and pounds 8 to cash cheques. In the end I insisted on taking the passengers on a trip for free but the courier said no. We ended up kicking him off the bus. He was totally unskilled and unqualified, and unsociable.'
Some of the returning clients said their trips had been cheap but not good value. Fred Last, 56, a caretaker from York, said: 'We stayed in a hotel in Austria which was still being renovated. It had earwigs, cockroaches and mice.'
The Land Travel holidaymakers were stranded after coach drivers either refused to take them any further or demanded money to continue.
A 47-strong party from the Midlands and a party of 52 Chinese engineering students from Sheffield University, which included a pregnant woman and children as young as 10 months, were stuck at the docks for up to six hours.
Dr Quan-Min Zhu, 37, who led the students, said: 'We had to pay in total Fr7,650 (pounds 820) for the ferry. Now it looks as if we have to pay another pounds 600 for the coach to Sheffield. Even our coach in France broke down 40 kilometres from Calais.'
Coach drivers had agreed to take passengers as far as Dover out of goodwill - but no further. Local port officials and coach agents mounted a haphazard rescue operation.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...