In what is believed to be the first of its kind for UK National Parks, more than a dozen local taxi drivers attended the pilot scheme appropriately named ‘National Park Knowledge’ held earlier today at the Heritage Centre, in Brecon Cathedral.
With funding provided by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) and a partnership of Local Authorities, the course focused on offering visitors a helpful ride to their destination, with information on local activities and attractions, festivals and events, the main walking routes, guides to the National Park and advice on which car parks are regularly used by walkers.
Designed specifically for taxi drivers, the idea behind the pilot scheme was created some months ago after Brecon Beacons National Park Authority approached local taxi drivers with the view to devise some free training sessions especially for them. The training course was then tailored to offer taxi drivers the chance to find out more about the area they work in, the kind of information visitors need and also how to help increase business in the local transport industry. Drivers who have attended the course will be listed on the new BBNPA transport website (www.travelbreconbeacons.info) when it goes live in the Spring and they will also be able to display a sticker in their vehicles so that passengers can clearly identify them.
When signing up to the scheme, the drivers then agree to a customer care pledge – where in return for the free training they will pass on information gained from the course to advise visitors on how best to enjoy the Park, to ensure high standards of customer care, to pick up and drop off walkers at specific locations in the countryside and to give appropriate assistance to disabled passengers.
Annie Lawrie, Visitor Transport Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “We are working very hard to try and engage with as many service providers as possible in the Brecon Beacons so that our visitors are confident that they can leave their cars at home and still enjoy the services and activities in this area. Our local bus and taxi drivers already provide an excellent service to our visitors but this course will give them the opportunity to make it a memorable and knowledgeable service – which we hope will increase the number of visitors returning. We’ve had great fun researching the history of Brecon and we know that there is always something to learn and pass onto others. We hope this course will be the first of many offered to taxi drivers within the Brecon Beacons National Park.”
Adrian Williams, a partner in A&A Cabs said: “It’s been a very enlightening course and it will certainly be of benefit to our business and the visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park.”
For more information on National Park Knowledge please contact Annie Lawrie on 01874 620 476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Top ten fast facts about Brecon that you may not have known…
1. During the 13th and 14th Century Brecon was a walled town with tolls payable at 4 gates located throughout town. Free Street was outside the town walls and therefore those who lived there did not have to pay taxes for the protection of the town. In 1408 the walls were destroyed but you can still see parts of it at Captain’s Walk and behind Watton Mount.
2. Brecon Cathedral was previously a friary, and not made a proper Cathedral until 1923.
3. 24 lime trees line The Watton in honour of the 24th regiment who fought at Rorke’s Drift.
4. Christ College used to be a Dominican friary. Henry VIII dissolved it and established a school there in 1541.
5. King Charles visited the town in 1642 looking for support. King’s Steps in the Struet marks his exit to Gwynerfed.
6. There are over 500 protected buildings in Brecon. Although the town has a very 18th Century Georgian look, it has kept its 11th and 12th Century Street pattern
7. Some of the oldest buildings in town are the 17th Century corn mill at Watergate, Cantre Selyf and Buckingham Place which dates back to the early 16th Century.
8. The Brecon Canal played a very important role in the early 18th and 19th century – used to transport coal, stone and lime from the works, collieries and quarries.
9. At the height of the wool industry, Ship Street was originally called Shepe Street because it joined to the market.
10 The Sarah Siddons pub was the birthplace of the famous iconic actress Sarah Siddons (b.1755). It was formerly known as The Shoulder of Mutton.