Commuters struggle with Guardbridge road closure

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Commuters to St Andrews have raised concerns about bus links between Leuchars and the town during the road closure in Guardbridge.

The A919 through Guardbridge is due to close on Monday to allow pipework to be laid between the village and St Andrews as part of the development of St Andrews University’s Guardbridge Energy Centre.

Work on the A91 road into St Andrews to lay a pipeline between St Andrews University's planned green energy centre in Guardbridge and university buildings on the west of the town.

Work on the A91 road into St Andrews to lay a pipeline between St Andrews University's planned green energy centre in Guardbridge and university buildings on the west of the town.

But the closure means long detours for drivers, and commuters who take the train to Leuchars and then transfer to bus to reach St Andrews.

One commuter told the Citizen: “No one can get in to work or to study in St Andrews before 9am without getting a very early train – the train I travel on gets into Leuchars at 8.08am but the bus service that will be in place during the road closure leaves at 8.05am and the next bus is not until 8.34am, which gets you into St Andrews after nine.”

She added that as a regular traveller she knew a group of fellow commuters who were similarly affected.

A St Andrews University spokesman acknowledged the disruption to everyone but commented: “We have been working closely with Stagecoach to provide a comprehensive revised bus service while the road is closed. Extra buses, drivers and services are being put on to keep disruption for bus users to a minimum.

“University managers and teachers are aware of the situation and have been asked to be as flexible as possible during the road closure period.”

Douglas Robertson, commercial director, Stagecoach East Scotland added that the diversion caused by the road closures meant that it was: “Simply not possible for us to operate the same level of service as normal. Wherever possible we’ve tried to time journeys to provide onward travel connections, however, this is not always feasible.”

He suggested that commuters from Edinburgh switched to the bus at Cupar and assured travellers that tickets would still be valid.

Other commuters to St Andrews can now pedal between the two settlements.

The university is launching a free Park and Pedal scheme to help commuters beat the traffic – and get fit.

Commuters will be able to park free of charge in the car park opposite the Guardbridge Mill Clock, and pick up a bike to cycle on to St Andrews.

As well as free bike rental the university will also offer the use of safety equipment. And for those with their own bikes, a sheltered bicycle store will also be available to travellers.

The university reckons it will take about 25 minutes to cycle to St Andrews, using the cycle path adjacent to the main A91. The scheme will run until the end of the road closure at Guardbridge, scheduled for April 8.

Full details of the Park and Pedal scheme can be found on the university website.