Call to end 'conveyor belt' funeral services as cremation charges rise

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

Officials are calling for an end to "conveyor belt" funerals that give mourners just 30 minutes in which to say their goodbyes to loved ones.

ITV News has learnt that cremation charges have jumped by more than £100 in three years.

Explaining how this has affected mourners, funeral celebrant Emma Curtis told ITV News: "What so many people complain about is this feeling of a conveyor belt."

Freedom of Information data seen by ITV News show average cremations charges, part of the full funeral costs, have risen by over £100 in the last three years.

Many crematoria give people just 30 minutes per funeral to say their goodbyes while others impose hefty fines on those go over their allotted time slot.

It comes as the competition watchdog launch an in-depth investigation into whether grieving families are being ripped-off by the industry.

A spokesperson for the cremation industry said almost a quarter of facilities confirmed the 30-minute time slots.

The cremation trade body defended the practice by saying mourners who want short time slots can always pay for their extra time if they wish.

Undertaker Steve Cains believes there should be more competition in the industry.

Undertaker, Steve Cains, is calling for more competition within the industry.

He told ITV News: "We've found cremation costs have risen faster than inflation over the last few years."

He added: "Currently I cannot build a crematorium because there is an existing crematorium within a 45-minute drive, which leaves that crematorium with a captive market, able to charge whatever prices they wish."