The cost of motoring and rail travel has also soared. According to the AA, a
litre of unleaded petrol is, at an average of 135.79p, 14.92p dearer than it
was a year ago, leaving a driver having to find £7.46 more to fill the tank
of a small family car.
For example, a motorist driving from Sunbury, on the western outskirts of
London, to Exeter will have to pay on average £24.79 in petrol, £2.75 more
than this time last year, while a journey from Manchester to Inverness will
be £7 dearer.
“The pain of soaring fuel prices that have plagued UK families through the
winter is now being felt by the summer tourism and leisure industry,” said
Edmund King, president of the AA.
“With almost every car heading into the West Country, Wales, Scotland and
other domestic holiday destinations losing at least £2 in potential tourist
spending to the fuel pump, the impact of austerity on business is ratcheted
up another notch.”
Drivers heading to many seaside resorts may also find that parking will not be
free over the bank holiday weekend. The AA warned that thousands of
motorists could be caught out with parking fines as some councils cash in.
January’s rise in rail fares — the largest in a generation — means train
travel will be considerably more expensive than last year. The start of 2011
brought a 6.2 per cent increase in non-commuting tickets.
According to research by the Labour Party, there will be more than 1,100 miles
of railway track closures over the next two bank holiday weekends, leaving
rail passengers to cope with detours and replacement bus services.
In opposition, the Liberal Democrats called for passengers who were forced to
use replacement buses to be offered a partial refund.
“This Easter passengers will be asking what happened to that empty promise,”
said Maria Eagle, Labour’s transport spokesman.
“At a time when rail fares are spiralling out of control, passengers deserve
better than finding they have actually paid for a replacement bus service.
“Christmas was ruined for many families thanks to the Tory-led government’s
failure to cope with the winter weather. Now families face a real struggle
to get together for Easter because so much of the rail network will be out