Work to link St Andrews University’s biomass plant in Guardbridge with its facilities in the town will not now go ahead until next year.
The work to lay four miles of pipeline to pump hot water to the town from the former paper mill will take six to seven weeks, and will mean the closure of the A919 in Guardbridge from February 15 to April 8 next year.
The university’s Niall Scott told St Andrews Community Council this week that initial plans to close the road this autumn had been abandoned after concerns that road delays could make youngsters sitting exams late.
Diversions will be in place through Balmullo, adding an extra 7.5 miles to journeys north of St Andrews and south of St Michaels.
“We know it will be a major inconvenience for a great number of people in the area,” Mr Scott acknowledged.
But, he added, partial closure of the road would only serve to extend the time the work would take to complete.