Fife is gearing up for one of the biggest sporting events it has ever seen as The Open returns to the home of golf at St Andrews.
A record-breaking 290,000 fans will attend the Championship from 10-17 July and Fifers are being asked to plan ahead to try to avoid congestion on our roads.
Cllr Altany Craik, Spokesperson for Finance, Economy and Strategic Planning, welcomed the spotlight that this prestigious event will put on Fife and the boost it will give to our tourism and hospitality trade, while issuing a plea to those out and about on our roads to drive safely and follow all travel advice
He said: “There’s no doubt that hosting The Open at St Andrews provides a great economic boost for Fife, and hosting The 150th Open is a great honour. This is a huge event which will draw in record-breaking crowds.
“We have been working with The R&A to plan for this event for over a year and have a number of measures in place to help ease pressure on the road network, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the roads will be very busy with traffic.
“It is hoped that as many visitors as possible will take advantage of public transport options, while there will be park and ride sites available for those travelling by car and other vehicles. Those travelling to The Open by car should follow the road signs carefully. Some signs will have real-time route information that must be followed. This will ensure all fans get to the event in the shortest possible time
“For those travelling in Fife, who are not attending The Open, the advice is to plan ahead, leave yourself lots of extra time for journeys and avoid travelling at peak times, where possible. People living and working in St Andrews are being encouraged to use active forms of travel, like walking and cycling, to get around town during the week of the event and Stagecoach is running additional services earlier in the morning and later in the evening to provide more public transport options for shift workers”
“To help with traffic management and reduce congestion in and around the town there are a few temporary traffic restrictions and parking restrictions which will be in place. These are to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses, assist traffic flow and increase safety and security for all road users. Residents’ permits and access passes have already been issued and parking for those who work in the town has been made available at the top of Petheram Bridge Car Park and at East Sands Leisure Centre.
Fans attending The 150th Open are being urged not to travel by rail due to a limited temporary timetable being operated by ScotRail on those dates. Contingency measures will be in place, including increased capacity at Park and Ride facilities to cater for the expected rise in the number of fans travelling by road.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “Due to circumstances out of our control, we have no choice but to urge fans to not travel by rail to The Open and to use alternative means of transport to get to and from St Andrews next week. There is a risk that fans who travel by train may find there are no services to get them home.”
Alternative public transport, including buses and taxis, is available for fans to use. Local bus services are complemented by an express network that connects St Andrews with Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Cupar and Glenrothes. More information on bus services can be found via Stagecoach and Moffat and Williamson.
Cllr Altany Craik continued: “For those intending to visit St Andrews during The Open week, who aren’t attending the golf, it’s important to note that while St Andrews is very much open for business, the town will be much busier and there are a number of temporary parking restrictions in place. It is important to check beforehand and plan ahead.
“It’s also important to note that there’ll be no vehicle access to the West Sands beach, in St Andrews, during the week of The Open. However, Fife is lucky enough to have a plethora of beautiful beaches to enjoy, including 14 Seaside Award beaches.
“We are looking forward to hosting this brilliant event and seeing some exciting golf played on the ancient course and if everyone follows the traffic advice and plans ahead it will be a very positive experience for everyone. “
For more information and any updates go to www.fife.gov.uk/theopen and https://www.theopen.com/tickets-and-hospitality/getting-there