St Andreans had their first taste of what traffic will be like during this year’s Open at a public meeting last night.
Around 25 of the town’s residents and businesses heard that for the first time a police helicopter will be deployed over St Andrews during the Open.
Police Scotland hosted the meeting and officers were joined by Fife Council representatives.
Inevitably interest focussed on traffic as hundreds of thousands of spectators descend on the town in July - and there was good news. Plans are under way to open a second car park on the fringes of the town at Cairnsmill Farm, joining the existing facility at Seggie Farm and creating parking facilities on the two main road accesses to the town.
Police officers said they were committed to keeping traffic moving in St Andrews during the Open and alterations to routes in the town, parking restrictions, arrangements for public transport and tour buses all came under Police Scotland’s consideration during the meeting. Many arrangements will be similar to previous years, with some changes to parking for cars and buses which it is hoped will improve the flow of traffic in the town.
In addition, there will be tight security, although assurances were given that there had been no threats to the Open championship.
A central control centre will receive pictures from CCTV and television cameras, helicopter feeds and other cameras, meaning this year’s Open will be the most comprehensively covered ever.
Already the police have received inquiries about transport arrangements from as far afield as the USA and Japan, and they urged members of the public to contact them with any concerns about planning for the Open. During the event a special Twitter feed will be available for travellers - #opentravel.