Christmas Holidays: Brits Blame Expensive Travel And Stay Home
It’s going to be lonely this Christmas as the high cost of travelling is putting Britons off visiting friends and family, according to a survey.
The AA warned that the festive travel season was set to cause chaos on roads and rail, but only 4.25 million Brits will be journeying to reach their loved ones in time for Christmas day.
Many will remain grounded, with 22% citing the high price of petrol, a survey by breakdown company Green Flag showed on Wednesday.
Some 19% of respondents blamed the cost of bus and rail travel for staying home this Christmas while 16% said expensive air fares would keep them from seeing family or friends.
Green Flag spokesperson Miranda Schunke said: "Spiralling fuel and travel costs are set to have a real impact on some friends and families getting together over Christmas.
"The festive season burns a big enough hole in family pockets as it is, so it's no surprise that public transport and fuel costs have tipped the balance for many festive celebrations this year."
An Eurostar strike in Belgium means that the high speed train will be terminating in Lille, Northern France, causing chaos in London and France. Services will be affected from 7.04pm Wednesday evening.
Authorities are also hoping to complete roadworks and railway repairs, which may lead to congestion due to closed roads and bus-replacement services.
The Highways Agency has ambitious plans to complete more than 500 miles of roadworks before Christmas while a further 60 miles will be suspended from Friday until 3 January.
However it’s not all bad news: the number of replacement buses need to replace errant trains has halved since last year.
Travelling on the Tube and London buses from 11.45pm on New Year's Eve until 4.30am on New Year's Day is free, while in Durham shoppers will be offered free park and ride on Christmas eve.
For those sun-starved Brits that have managed to scrimp and save, popular destinations abroad include the Canary Islands, Cuba and Mexico.
Top city break destinations include Paris, Rome, Dublin, New York and Reykjavik in Iceland.