A HISTORIC hotel where weary travellers once stopped to replenish their horses with hay and water is now offering road users somewhere to recharge their cars, writes David Carnduff.

The Uplawmoor Hotel, which dates from 1750 – nine years before the birth of Robert Burns – has installed charging points for customers driving electric cars.

Two wall-mounted chargers have been installed in the hotel forecourt to let customers top up free of charge.

Stuart Peacock, who is joint owner with wife Emma, told the News: “This is a very historic hotel, but we are looking to the future. We realise that electric cars are on the increase and we see this as an extra service for our customers.”

Stuart said he had deliberately chosen to install ones with a strong, 32amp output.

He added: “This means someone arriving with, for example, a Nissan Note which is almost out of charge, can have lunch and their car will be fully charged within an hour. It will also be a help for drivers of light commercial vehicles and our resident guests.

“We are looking to capture the lunchtime, transient market, with people coming from nearby towns or Glasgow. They can pop in for a quick bite and top up their car with electricity free of charge.

“We also wanted to support the government’s desire to see more electric cars on the road and a subsequent reduction in pollution.”

Stuart, who has owned the 14-room, three-star AA-rated hotel for 25 years, says it’s significant to have the new electric technology in such a historic setting.

He said: “In the old days, this was the route between Ayrshire and Glasgow and people would stop to feed their horses. In fact part of our dining room used to be stables before they were converted.

“The hotel certainly existed in Robert Burns’s day but we don’t know if he ever stayed here. However, we do have a copper canopy over our fire which is inscribed with verses from Tam o’ Shanter.”

Meanwhile, a website run by Charge Place Scotland – a national network of electric vehicle charge points – shows there are five points in East Renfrewshire, at Kingston Road car park in Neilston, Barrhead Foundry Sports Centre, Rouken Glen Road in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire Council in Giffnock and at Mary Young Place in Clarkston.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “They say that when it comes to buying a house location, location, location is everything. So it goes with electric charge points. Facilities need to be in places where people will use them.

"Evidence suggests rapid chargers get a disproportionate amount of use, which bears out the view that improving the convenience and speed of ‘filling’ up with electricity is mission critical to the wider take-up of these vehicles.”