A MINIBUS driver has been fined for flouting coronavirus lockdown restrictions after taking a party of 10 people almost 80 miles to the Brecon Beacons.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the driver had travelled from Cheltenham to the Brecon Beacons National Park on Saturday (February 13), with people told to stay local for exercise.

The police said he was fined, but his passengers were not with him at the time officers spoke to the driver.

Pen Y Fan in the heart of the beacons is 79 miles from Cheltenham, a drive that should take an hour and 39 minutes.


Breconshire Police said: “The BBNP remains closed, do not drive to the area, you will be fined,” tweeted Breconshire Police.

“One minibus driver booked today drove from Cheltenham, with 10 passengers, the passengers were not present on police attendance, two from Swansea area also booked."

The driver is not the first person to be fined for flouting lockdown rules, and in recent weeks the Brecon Beacons National Park Association has been forced to close off areas and car parks to deter visitors.

Superintendent Craig Templeton, from Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “It has been disappointing for officers carrying out high-visibility patrols in the Central Beacons area, as we’ve seen scenes where there were hundreds of vehicles present.

“Over the Christmas period they were engaging with people to remind them of their responsibilities to adhere to Welsh Government essential travel lockdown restrictions, and some had travelled from as far afield as Hertfordshire and Cheltenham.

“Fixed penalty notices have and will be issued to those blatant breaches where engagement fails. But we have continued to see people venturing to the area.

“We understand that this is a very difficult time and that these beauty spots are tempting to people, but there is good reason for the restrictions.

"We fully support this decision, and believe it is sensible for the national park authority to close areas of the national park at this time due to the risks involved.”