Leisure costs continue to rise


football and bootsThe cost of leisure activities continues to rise, with Premier League tickets and train fares leading the increase, according to a report.

The Spare Time Spending study from Halifax found that the price of Premier League tickets has increased by 16% in the past year, while adult off-peak train fares are up 8%, based on a sample of six journeys chosen for the survey.

The report found 17 of the 19 leisure costs included in the study have increased over the last 12 months, seven at a faster rate than inflation. However, readers have seen the price of digital books fall by 18% and those bought off the shelf by 2%.

Football remains the highest cost in the report, with an average monthly spend based on tickets for two Premier League matches of £85.85 - an increase of 198% in a decade.
Despite the Olympics effect, membership costs for all other sports listed in the report have increased in the last 12 months, but only gym memberships have risen at a faster rate than inflation (3%) to an average £37.93 a month.

The most expensive membership cost is golf with average monthly fees of £66.08, an increase of 54% since March 2003.

And while increases in the cost of fuel and train fare costs have been well documented, those opting for camping can expect an average daily spend of £35.38 on entertainment, provisions and local services - up from £24.25 in 2003 - in addition to an average site fee of £20 per pitch per night for a family tent.

A day at a theme park costs an average entrance charge of £40.44, up 38% on 2003.

Halifax director of current accounts Anthony Warrington said: "The fact that these costs are continuing to rise, and some at a faster rate than inflation, will put even more pressure on households as they try to plan ahead for the May bank holidays and half term. Even for those who are looking to do something for free, it will be hard not to be impacted by rising fuel costs."

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies disputed the findings on rail fares, saying: "The Halifax's figures are deeply misleading. The most recent published data by the official rail regulator shows that Off-Peak fares actually fell over the last year by 1.4% in real terms."

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