Brecon Beacon Electric Buggies serve Eco-warriors with a need for speed

The Brecon Beacons, a national park in Wales, has launched an electric buggy service to transport visitors.

The park has become the first in the UK to allow tourists to travel using a fleet of eco-friendly electric buggies. The low-energy vehicles may be used to explore the national park and visit various places of interest. Six vehicles have been provided for the eco-friendly traveller, all supplied by Renault.

The Renault Twizy can touch speeds of 50mph, and travel 50 miles before stopping to be recharged. The park has provided a network of 26 points to charge the vehicles in between transits. Located at pubs, cafes and visitor attractions, the charging points will allow travellers to recharge their vehicle while they explore the nearby amenities.

Tourists wishing to use the buggies will need to rent them from participating hotels and self-catering accommodation providers at a rate of GBP45 a day. Husband-and-wife team, Alison Kidd and Peter Williams, who also run a travel network, spearheaded the not-for-profit initiative. They said that the buggies would help to increase tourism while making travel in the park sustainable.

Dr Kidd, co-director of the Eco Travel Network, said, ‘It puts the Brecon Beacons on an international map. This is a different way to travel around that is fun, and happens to be green. We have something original to offer to make this an eco-tourism destination. If people want a fun and different way of exploring this beautiful area that’s actually fun and green, then come and try it. It makes the journey – instead of being boring, the journey itself is an experience. We are trying to make being green fun, and the nice thing about the Twizys is that it’s fun to do, but it’s actually quite green.’

After piloting the project last year, the couple launched the scheme this year with GBP25,000 in funding from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. They direct the Eco Travel Network, along with Ian Foster, owner of the Westview Guesthouse, near Hay-on-Wye.

The team is also planning to encourage the local population to use the buggies in autumn to make travelling more sustainable.