WORK to create additional parking at an iconic beauty spot in the Brecon Beacons which attracts over a quarter of a million visitors each year is about to kick off.
National Trust Cymru is preparing to begin work this week to improve existing facilities at Pont ar Daf car park at the foot of Pen-y-Fan, creating a suitable car park from which visitors can access the iconic Brecon Tags.
With the addition of new visitor facilities, the popular countryside car park will become a welcoming starting point for the 350,000 people who walk through Pen-y-Fan each year.
The new and improved car park will add around 200 more spaces, giving visitors access to a total of almost 260 secure parking spaces away from the busy A470 road – which is often crowded on both sides of the road with vehicles, causing traffic jams and fears for safety.
Maintained by the National Trust Cymru, the 3,327 hectares of land around Pen-y-Fan in the Beacons attract increasing numbers of visitors each year with limited parking posing challenges.
Alan Kearsley-Evans, National Trust Cymru Chief Executive for the Brecon Beacons and Gower, said: “These planned improvements are long overdue and will transform the way visitors are welcomed to Pont ar Daf at the foot of this iconic mountain.
“Improving the car park is a key part of our work to look after the Brecon Beacons, look after the land around Pen-y-Fan and the network of over 70km of footpaths so that thousands of people can carry on to enjoy walking in this Region.”
Disabled parking spaces will be provided alongside parking for minibuses, coaches and cyclists and an area for emergency services and other similar users of the Beacons.
New facilities planned for visitors will include handicap accessible toilets, changing toilets and changing tables, some of which will be available 24 hours a day. Improved signage, sidewalks and information will also allow people to better plan their day.
When completed later this year, the new car park at Pont ar Daf will be free for National Trust members and non-members will have to pay a flat rate of £7.50 per car to park. As a charity, the trust relies on income received from visitors to help them look after the special places in their care. By introducing parking fees at Pont ar Daf in the future, they can raise vital funds to maintain the facilities and carry out important conservation work in the Brecon Beacons.
The redevelopment of the site will be carried out in a sustainable manner, using local businesses and materials wherever possible and designed to be in harmony with the natural environment of the area and the designated landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Charging stations for electric vehicles, planting of trees everywhere, space for those who choose to travel by bus or bicycle and areas to accommodate other sustainable transport solutions will support a greener future for Pont ar daf.
Lhosa Daly, Acting Director of National Trust Cymru, said: ‘The Brecon Beacons are one of the most loved and visited countryside sites in Wales and we can’t wait to start work on the new car park and visitor facilities at Pont ar Daf.
“We want to ensure that everyone who comes here gets a welcome adjustment from this special place by providing a great start to a day enjoying nature and the beauty outdoors.”
With the works due to take place over the summer and autumn with an end date of winter 2022, National Trust Cymru would like to reassure visitors that disruption to parking and current facilities will be minimal .
The site plans were developed in collaboration with the main stakeholders of the national park. The project has been made possible with partial funding from the Welsh Government through the Visit Wales Tourism Investment Support Scheme.
For more details on the project and to see plans for the planned improvements to Pont ar Daf, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brecon-beacons/.