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Santa stumped by Fuel costs: 14 million will miss seeing loved ones this Christmas

21 December 2012

  • High fuel costs will prevent 28 per cent1 of people from seeing friends and family this festive season
  • Average Brit will spend £48 on travel this Christmas, travelling for nearly three hours on average
  • The high cost of public transport will stop 15 per cent of people visiting their nearest and dearest, while 13 per cent will be deterred by the lack of trains and buses

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of people will be prevented from seeing loved ones this festive season because of the high price of fuel, reveals new research from Green Flag Breakdown. This is an increase of six per cent or 2.66 million people in just 12 months - in 2011 22 per cent of UK adults claimed high fuel prices would prevent them from seeing friends and family.

Those who are driving to visit friends and family this Christmas will spend an average of £48 on fuel, travelling for an average of nearly three hours.

Increases in public transport fares over the last year combined with reduced services will also prevent people travelling to see loved ones this Christmas. Major engineering works are scheduled over the festive season by a number of rail operators, including services operated by East Coast, East Midlands and South West Trains. Limited availability of public transport means 13 per cent of people will see fewer friends and family over the festive season than they would have liked, while 15 per cent will be deterred by high travel costs.

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag, said: “Christmas is traditionally a time for seeing friends and family, but the high cost of transportation will keep some loved ones apart this year. While the three pence petrol duty rise scheduled for 2013 has been scrapped, we still see many drivers struggling to afford to fill their tanks and reducing the number of journeys they take. With public transport costs also rising, many families are faced with tough choices for their Christmas spending, whether to focus on presents and entertainment or choose to travel.”

Those living in the West Midlands are most deterred from travelling to see friends and family this Christmas by the high cost of fuel while limited availability of public transport will most affect those living in Scotland and the North East.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Opinium Research interviewed 2,011 people between 30th November - 3rd December 2012, results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. 2011 figures come from a 2011 Vision Critical survey of 2,005 people in December 2011. Results have been weighted.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Miranda Schunke
Green Flag Press Office
Tel: 0208 266 3795
Mobile: 07766 472 690

Chris Wilson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 1092