We got stuck in an aire!

Discussion in 'France' started by 54mud, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. 54mud

    54mud

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    We stopped at La Tranche sur Mer aire on our recent trip to France (returned home Monday night). It has a barrier at the entry where you get a ticket and one on the exit where you pay, but there is a sign with English on which says you must display your receipt or get a fine when the police come around to check.
    So SHMBO insisted that we paid our 10 euros, so we did ( after 26mins which it said on the receipt), even though I thought that you paid on exit as there was a card machine at the barrier and happily stayed the night .
    Next day we came to leave and guess what, the barrier won't let us out. There was an intercom button so after and few minutes of us not understanding the nice French man and him not understanding us, he turned up and let us out. Saying you pay when you leave.
    So I think there might be a bit of miss translation on the sign or we were just thick!!
    Just thought I would pass on this info so that nobody else gets caught out.
     
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  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Yes you present your entry ticket to the machine when you want to leave. It then calculates how much you owe based on the time you entered. You then either get a pin code or a barcode to use at the exit. Many aires operate this way now. St Vallery sur Somme for one often confuses even the French.
    Typical machine
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    I had problems on this type.had to call the man out.very poor french me but we got through!!
     
  4. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Yes, looks like its a lost in translation thing.

    I once got stuck at a toll booth that wouldn't work, in the motorhome, on my own, middle of the night.
    Lady on the intercom ( totally unmanned toll station) suggested I reverse out and try the next machine along. .... Oh what a joy that was.
     
  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    It is a possibility that the payment system has been recently introduced and the sign is an old one?
    A picture would be good
     
  6. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    Had a problem a couple of months ago on the aire at Etale which defeated everyone on there. We tried to pay on the way in after almost wedging our Bailey in the tiny entrance, but no matter what we and a dozen assorted French lads and lasses tried we couldn't get the machine do what it was supposed to do and raise the barrier. We tried both of our cards (Clarity and Visa), but no joy. Eventually someone suggested that we go to the local council camping office at the municipal site nearby which we did, and the lady there shrugged her shoulders and said that "the machines in this area don't like English cards and wont work with them"! She suggested we ask someone to pay for us with a French card and reimburse them, or we could stay at her municipal site which had precisely one pitch left. We paid her cash and stayed (it was lovely), but the next aire we called at had the same problem, so we had to ask a local to pay for us. Whats wrong with English cards??
     
  7. 54mud

    54mud

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    It was all very new, including the sign. There was also a pay machine next to where you went out ( to walk to), aswell as one at the barrier. Sorry no photo.
     
  8. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    It seems to be common for English cards to fail on Sundays through what seems to be a communication breakdown.

    Another possibility with the OP is that the aire may have originally had a pre pay machine before having a barrier and hence the sign.
    A typical prepay is Gravelines where you could conceivable stay and NOT pay and so your ticket must be displayed.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Its poor isn't it that the French speak such poor English?:)
     
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  10. lynnian

    lynnian Read Only Funster

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    We used the Aire at St Vallery- sur -Somme the other week found it quite easy but the French hadn't a clue, as said you pick up a ticket on entry and the barrier raises, park up. Then as it says 30 minutes before you leave present you ticket to machine pay the fee but don't loose your ticket then return to van drive to barrier present ticket to reader barrier lifts and you exit simple. Now my French is very basic but all seemed simple to me. This is not how the French do, they all cue up at the barrier blocking access to the old service point near entry(better to use the one in centre of parking area )then they all congregate round machine chatting then try to read instruction while another person (French ) keeps pressing the call button then walking away ignoring the message, they then cant find where to put there money or card a lady struggled with a 20 euro note which the machine kept rejecting so I offered her 2 x 10 euro notes she glanced at me shrugged then her husband tried the note cussing. Eventually they went to there van then struggled to work out how to open barrier , then it all started again took us nearly an hour to get up to barrier. Such fun
    Ian
     
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  11. Rob e Lee

    Rob e Lee Funster

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    Done that!
     
  12. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    A slight tale of woe but great information for the rest of us. Thanks
     
  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    If you're ever uncertain about how to enter an aire with a rising bollard, whatever you do, don't drive over the bloody bollard if it's down when you think that logically it should be up. It doesn't matter who's wrong if one of those buggers smashes into your chassis. Try reversing off the pressure plate and pulling back onto it - if nothing changes, give serious thought to going elsewhere.

    Worst automated aire I've ever been on was the one at La Palmyre that's a couple of hundred yards back from the Bonne Anse beach entrance with the service point (not the off-season seafront parking aire which is fine). I don't know if they've fixed it yet, but it used to dispense tickets and emplacements in strict 24 hour blocks regardless of whether or not the ticket holder had departed. This meant that you'd drive up to the rising bollard barrier with obvious empty spots visible on the aire and it would not let you through until the tickets for those empty spots had each gone beyond their full 24 hour expiry time. Net result? An angry frustrated multi-national queue of camping-cars lined up down the road in the summer sun waiting for the barrier to open at random intervals. Also a constantly-changing group of ticket barrier philosophers discussing the fine details, occasionally with a bemused Police Municipale officer involved. It's a nice spot when you finally get in there but my God what a faff.

    Also - for some reason which I haven't yet fathomed, the aire at Lacanau-Ocean wouldn't let us out using the exit password on our unexpired ticket. In the end someone else used their password for us - I hope they're not still stuck there.
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Dont forget, the sign was written by a frenchman/woman.

    What it most likely means is you display your ENTRY TICKET which will have an entry time on it........but they called it a reciept which is where the confusion came from.
     
  15. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Il de Re Aire yesterday on trying to leave cards were rejected went to the campsite office which the Aire is attached to only to be told the machine doesn't accept English cards neither do the automated fuel pumps on the island. Other than that fantastic place and the weathers been scorching.
    Off to the Loire tomorrow for a couple of days then Bungy heads back to UK and we'll probably be heading for Germany eventually.
     
  16. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Camping Amis de la Plage, Bois Plage en Re perchance? Same here, on two occasions. Would still go back though.
     
  17. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    So how did you both pay? I don't like putting my CC into a foreign device, always convinced it might keep it (then what would you do)

    Can you normally use cash as well?
     
  18. 54mud

    54mud

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    What it most likely means is you display your ENTRY TICKET which will have an entry time on it........but they called it a reciept which is where the confusion came from.[/QUOTE]
    That was my thought, after.
     
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