THANKS to the advice of the Independent Traveller, Janet Mansfield reports that most people from her home town of Cockermouth, Cumbria, going south through France every year now use Formule 1 budget hotels.

'Can you explain to me why such cheap lodging opportunities are not available in Britain? A couple of weeks ago we needed a cheap overnight stop near Folkestone, as we were catching the early morning SeaCat. I thought that getting something similar to Formule 1 would be easy.'

Mrs Mansfield contacted the Travelodge chain, which told her that their nearest property was 67 miles from Folkestone. 'They said that it was impossible to get planning permission in the area. Is this a case of the South Coast hoteliers keeping cheap competition out? Next time we travel to France we will go late and sleep in Boulogne.'

Does anybody have any suggestions for good cheap hotels/motels in the Dover or Folkestone area?