I travelled from Birmingham to Brighton to spend Christmas with my mother and sister and had arranged to meet some friends at their flat for a Christmas Eve drink.

As I had to work on Christmas Eve, I had missed the last bus by the time I had unpacked and left my mother's flat, so decided to get a taxi to my friends' place. You can imagine my horror when the taxi driver informed me the fare would be double the normal fare and had been since 8pm.

This is outrageous. Firstly, Christmas Eve is not a bank holiday and the buses still had two hours to run. Despite being dog-tired, I decided not to pay £13 or £14 for a taxi and walked the three miles.

Brighton and Hove City Council claims it wants to encourage public transport, yet this practice merely encourages drinking and driving. Taxi fares and Christmas are expensive enough as it is.

I sincerely hope the public will not be ripped off in such a cynical fashion next year on a day that isn't even a public holiday.

-Clive Walder, Cotteridge, Birmingham