A £7.50 fee will be charged for drivers parking at the most popular car park used by those climbing Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons.

The charge has been confirmed by The National Trust, and will be payable by all non-members parking at the Pont ar Daf car park, which is adjacent to the main A470 between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil.

The charity was granted planning permission to create additional parking spaces, by extending the 50 space car park, and improve facilities back in December 2017 but it had stalled on carrying out the work.

It has been seeking planning permission to extend the car park for more than 10 years when it first suggested a parking charge, which some branded as an "entrance fee" to climb the mountain which is the highest peak in the Beacons and all of southern Britain.

The car park, which is next to the Storey Arms activity centre, is at the foot of the most popular route to the summit. A regular day time bus service between Newtown and Cardiff also stops at the base of the mountain.

In recent years, Pen y Fan has continued to attract an ever-growing number of visitors and there have been concerns at the impact of parking on road side verges on the ecology of the national park and on road safety on the main trunk road, which is a single carriage way.

“These planned improvements have long been needed and will transform the visitor welcome at Pont ar Daf which is at the foot of this iconic mountain,” said Alan Kearsley-Evans, general manager of National Trust Cymru Brecon Beacons and Gower.

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During one afternoon in January 2016 Dyfed-Powys Police issued more than 100 £50 parking tickets totalling nearly £5,000 to drivers who'd parked on the roadside after driving to the area following snowfall. 

In recent year Dyfed-Powys Police and the Brecon Beacons National Park have issued pleas to visitors to chose other routes to walk Pen y Fan and sought to discourage drivers.

A reduced speed limit is also in place in the area at weekends.

Disabled parking spaces will be provided alongside parking provision for minibuses, coaches and cyclists as well as an area for the emergency services and other similarly related users of the Beacons.

Planned new visitor facilities will include toilets with disabled access, a ‘changing places toilet’ and baby changing facilities, some of which will be available 24 hours a day. Improvements to signage, footpaths and information will also allow people to better plan their day.

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Electric vehicle charging points, recreational space for those choosing to travel by bus or by bike and areas to accommodate further sustainable transport solutions are all planned to help to support a greener future for Pont ar Daf.

“We want to ensure that everyone who comes here has a welcome, fitting of this very special place”, said Kearsley-Evans.

Work is scheduled to take place over the summer and autumn with a finishing date of winter 2022 and National Trust Cymru says disruption to current parking and facilities will be minimal.

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