Your Questions Answered

As the organiser, making a coach booking for the first time can be a daunting experience and you will want to make sure that you ask the right questions so that your trip goes smoothly. Our friendly sales team are on the end of the telephone to help guide you stress free through the process.

To help you further in thinking about your booking we have put together a selection of answers to frequently asked questions. We hope that they will be useful and give you an insight into our user friendly business ethos.

For answers to most asked questions please click on any of the headings below; or alternatively, scroll through the list of questions.

Does the company belong to any professional body?

Heyfordian is a longstanding member of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), the national professional body for bus and coach operators. We also work with a number of professional bodies through which our quality and compliance systems and procedures are regularly audited by an external auditors.

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What happens if we want stay longer at our venue on the day?

Our drivers are subject to strict rules on driving and rest times and we plan our schedules around these regulations. Although we always build in leeway to allow for unforeseen circumstances, sometimes it is difficult to extend hire periods on the day. We will always do our utmost to comply with our customers requests but it is far better to be as realistic as possible with timings at the point of booking. Any additional hire time will be subject to additional charges.

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Can we drink alcohol on board coaches?

We normally do not allow the drinking of alcohol on board our coaches. In certain circumstances we will allow consumption provided it is served in plastic glasses.  In many cases, such as transport to major sports events, alcohol is banned by law. For clarification please speak to our operations department who will give you impartial advice.

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Can we change our destination on the day?

Our drivers are subject to strict rules on driving and rest times and we plan our schedules around these regulations. We also give our drivers as much pre-information as possible such as routing and location maps to help them plan their journey efficiently and professionally. Whilst we will do our utmost to cater for reasonable destination changes, it may not be possible to make major changes on the day as the logistics required could contravene drivers’ hours and rest regulations.

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Does Bicester Village cater for coaches?

Bicester Village has excellent parking and catering facilities for large groups. Due to its popularity you may wish to consider a mid-week visit.

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Does the company provide child seats?

Heyfordian does not provide child seats or booster cushions. We do not object to passengers providing their own seats providing they are compatible with our seat belt fixings and that the parent or guardian takes responsibility for any adverse risk. For further information please request a copy of our Child Car Seats & Maximum Seating Policy.

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What additional amenities are there available on the coach?

Heyfordian can provide additional amenities such as DVD players, wash rooms or tea and coffee makers at additional cost provided they are requested at the time of booking.  Although these amenities may be on board the coach on the day of hire, unless pre-booked we cannot guarantee that they will be in working order and available for use.

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What sizes of coach are there available?

Heyfordian can supply a range of vehicles from between 5 and 82 seats. Please contact our sales team who will advise the best possible vehicle to suit your size of group.

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How do we make a comment or complaint to the company?

As a Company we have high standards and in order to maintain these we are anxious to hear from any customer who may wish to comment or complain about our services. This may be via writing, phoning or e-mailing our head office in Bicester. All complaints are thoroughly investigated by a director or senior manager and are followed up in writing. For contact information please refer to the Contact us page. A copy of our Complaints Procedure Policy is available on request.

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Can we pay for our hire by credit card?

Heyfordian accepts payment for coach hire from Barclaycard, Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards. Payment may be made over the telephone to our sales team. We regret but we cannot accept payment by American Express or Diners Club.

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Do we have to pay a deposit to secure a booking?

Due to their popularity, we do ask for a 10% non-refundable deposit to secure a booking for any of our high capacity double-deck coaches. For all other bookings a deposit is normally not required but payment must be made in advance of the date of hire unless credit terms have been agreed.

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How do we contact our driver during our hire?

All of our drivers carry personal mobile phones. Although we do not normally give out mobile numbers before the day of hire, our driver will usually provide this information on request to the group leader on the day. In all cases, our operations department will be able to contact the driver during the hire period.

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What training does the company provide for coach drivers?

Heyfordian has its own accredited training school that provides regular training to enable our drivers to maintain their vocational licence entitlement. Our own registered training programme, Heyfordian Professional Driver Course, includes modules on customer care, child safeguarding, health and safety and general vehicle safety.

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Will our driver be vetted to work with children?

It is a condition of our contract of employment that all coach drivers obtain an enhanced disclosure certificate from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) before an offer of employment is made. Our drivers are also registered with either Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire Education Departments.

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Are we allowed to eat food on board coaches?

Due to hygiene concerns, we do not normally allow the consumption of food or beverages on board our vehicles.

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How do we contact you in an emergency?

Our operations team are available 24/7 every day of the year. At the time of booking your confirmation letter will give our out of hours contact numbers. We also provide emergency contact information on our main landline numbers after office hours.

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Does the company have an Environmental policy?

Heyfordian is conscious of the need to be acutely aware of environmental issues throughout our company and has a comprehensive Environmental policy which is continuously monitored and rigorously enforced. A copy of our Environmental Policy is available on request.

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If we are travelling abroad can you arrange the sea crossings?

Heyfordian is well experienced in European travel. Our vehicles are a familiar sight on many roads throughout Europe. We have accounts with Le Shuttle and all major ferry companies and can arrange bookings for both vehicles and passengers. Our tours department is available for advice on all aspects of European travel.

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Are coach drivers trained in First Aid?

All Heyfordian coach drivers go through a comprehensive first aid training course administered by the Oxford College of First Aid.

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Does the company have a Health & Safety policy?

Heyfordian has a comprehensive Health & Safety Policy which is rigorously enforced. Our staff are fully conversant with this policy. A copy of our Health & Safety Policy Statement is available on request.

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What historical sites or towns are there near Oxford?

Oxford is well situated between a number of very well known towns of interest. Stratford-Upon-Avon with its many connections to Shakespeare (Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and Mary Arden’s Farm etc) is easy to visit in a day. The same goes for Warwick with its famous medieval Warwick Castle which has much to offer.
You might also like the splendour of Kenilworth Castle, now a magnificent ruin. Other suggestions might be Windsor Castle or combine Salisbury with Stonehenge; or take in the Georgian grandeur of the city of Bath. All of these can be seen in a day. This is only a selection of places to visit; our sales team are on hand for further suggestions and advice.

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What type of insurance does the company hold?

Heyfordian holds insurance for Public & Products Liability (Limit of Indemnity: £10,000,000), Employers Liability (Limit of Indemnity: £10,000,000) and Motor & Motor Trade Combined Insurance (Coach Fleet Insurance: Unlimited Passenger Liability). All insurance policies are renewed at December 31st on an annual basis.

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How do we make contact on arrival at London Gatwick Airport?

A.Once you have cleared customs and reclaimed your baggage, contact a coach marshal in the arrivals hall and inform them your group has arrived on (airline/flight number). The marshal will direct you to the coach pick up area and will contact the coach park to release our coach to proceed to the terminal.

If you cannot find a coach marshal then contact the information desk. Please note that it may take up to 15 minutes at peak periods for the coach to travel from the coach park to the terminal. Our Airport Pick up leaflet is available on request.

Further information is available on the Gatwick Airport website.

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How do we make contact on arrival at London Heathrow Airport?

Once you have cleared customs and reclaimed your baggage, contact a coach marshal in the arrivals hall and inform them that your group has arrived on (airline/flight number). The marshal will direct you to the coach pick up area and will contact the coach park to release our coach to proceed to the terminal.

If you cannot find a coach marshal then contact the information desk. Please note that it may take up to 20 minutes at peak periods for the coach to travel from the coach park to the terminal. Our Airport Pick up leaflet is available on request.

Further information is available on the Heathrow Airport website.

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Do we have to pay extra to enter the London Low Emission Zone?

Coaches are exempt from paying the London Congestion Charge but must comply with strict low emission standards to obtain this concession. When booking a coach for a visit to London, it is important that we receive a full itinerary so that we can pre-plan suitable drop off and collection points and arrange coach parking.

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What happens to lost property?

We do realise that passengers mislay items from time to time; any lost property is handed in to the manager of the depot where the vehicle is based who will then notify our head office. Lost property can either be collected from one of our depots or for a pre-payment, posted back to the owner or other authorised recipient (low value items only). Please note, high value items such as mobile telephones, ipods, tablets etc must be collected from the relevant depot. We regret that for operational reasons, we cannot deal with lost property out of office hours.

N.B. Lost property is dealt with in accordance with the Public Service Vehicles (Lost Property) Regulations 1978, as amended by the PSV (Lost Property) (Amendment) Regulations 1981 and the Public Service Vehicles (Lost Property) (Amendment) Regulations 1995.

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What type of operator’s licence does the company hold?

Heyfordian holds Standard International Operating Licences for both the West of England and East of England Traffic Areas. We are authorised to operate a total of 115 vehicles.

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Are coaches allowed in the centre of Oxford?

Oxford City Council has a strict permit system for the picking up or dropping off of passengers in the City centre. Permits must be applied for in advance and are generally only given to groups that are resident or visiting venues within the central part of the city. Please speak to our sales team who will be able to apply for permits and give advice on suitable pick up and drop off points.

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Can coaches pick up at all of the Oxford University Colleges?

Because of restrictions within the centre of Oxford, is not possible to pick up outside a number of colleges. However, there are set pick up points that we use which are in walking distance of most Oxford University colleges. Our sales team will advise the most suitable pick up location for your college.

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Are parking charges included in the coach hire cost?

As it is difficult to be precise with parking charges, all quotations are subject to additional parking charges should they be incurred. Our sales team can advise on likely parking fees in advance. A number of venues and special events (such as Royal Ascot) will require pre-payment to reserve coach parking.

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May we request a preferred driver?

Where possible we will endeavour to provide a preferred driver if requested in advance. However, due to operational reasons such as drivers’ hour’s and rest regulations, a last minute change of driver may take place.

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Can we pick our own preferred route for our coach hire?

When planning your journey our operations department take into account the best possible route in relation to time, mileage and traffic conditions. If you have a preferred route please let us know in advance so that we can pre-warn your driver. Please be aware that should the preferred route be longer than that quoted for it may incur additional charges.

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Can we make a provisional booking?

We regret that we cannot hold provisional bookings.

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What steps does the company take to safeguard children?

Heyfordian takes its responsibilities towards children and vulnerable young adults extremely seriously. We subscribe to a Safer Recruitment Policy and a Child Safeguarding Policy and have formulated our own Code of Conduct for drivers whose duties involve children or vulnerable young adults. A copy of our Safe Guarding Polices and Code of Conduct is available on request to any organisation contemplating coach hire with our Company.

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Will our coach be fitted with seat belts?

All of our coaches are fitted with either two or three point seat belts.

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What is the policy for carrying babies held in parent’s arms on coaches?

We will allow babies of up to six months to sit on parent’s laps providing the overall number of passengers (including babies) does not exceed the vehicle seating capacity. For further information please request a copy of our Child Car Seats & Maximum Seating Policy.

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Are we allowed to smoke on coaches or buses?

To comply with current legislation, we operate a strictly non-smoking policy on all of our vehicles. In the absence of regulation and definitive evidence as to their safety, the Company’s policy is to treat the use of e-cigarettes and other similar products as being subject to the same policy prohibitions that apply to tobacco based products.

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Are there any stately homes near Oxford?

There is a wealth of venues within easy reach of Oxford that may be visited in either a half or full day. One of the most famous stately homes nearby is Blenheim Palace birthplace of Winston Churchill; a short half-hour journey from Oxford. You might wish to think about a trip to Waddesdon Manor, a French inspired chateau built by the Rothschild’s or for a more intimate visit, medieval Broughton Castle near Banbury. All of these houses can be visited in a half-day excursion.

Not too far away is Highclere House the fictional setting for the popular television series, Downton Abbey. This could be combined in a full day excursion with the village of Bampton which stands in for the fictional village of Downton and where most of the exterior filming takes place. This is just a selection; our sales team are on hand to give advice and to suggest other venues.

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Is there VAT on coach hire?

No, coach hire and related transport services are zero rated for VAT.

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Does the company have its own maintenance facilities?

We as a Company are committed to maintaining our fleet to the highest possible standards. All of our vehicle maintenance, both mechanical and bodywork, is carried out in our own workshops by our skilled engineers. Our facilities are equipped with the latest equipment including a rolling road and brake tester, hydraulic lifts for general maintenance and a full paint spray-booth oven.

Our maintenance schedules comply with the latest Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) manuals and our maintenance cycles are considered industry best practice.

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Are we charged for waiting time at airports or stations?

We do not charge for the first hour of waiting time at airports, rail stations or ferry terminals. Depending on the circumstances, we normally charge a rate per hour for all additional waiting time. Your booking confirmation letter will advise the current rate per hour for chargeable waiting time.

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Contact Heyfordian Travel

If your question isn’t answered above, we would be happy to answer it for you. Please contact us!