More than a quarter of people have been 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.
Those driving to visit friends and family this Christmas faced an average bill 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 have also prevented people travelling to see loved ones this Christmas.
Major engineering works scheduled over the festive season by a number of rail operators didn’t help, and limited availability of public transport meant 13 per cent of people saw fewer friends and family over the festive season than they would have liked, while 15 per cent were deterred by high travel costs.
Green Flag’s Miranda Schunke 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 3p 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.”