November finish for St Andrews’ Market Street £1.5m upgrade

THE £1.5 million upgrading of Market Street, one of the principal shopping streets in St Andrews, is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

However, Fife Council and contractors, T&N Gilmartin, have made it clear that any further significant archaeological discoveries could lead to more delays in the timetable - even until the end of January of next year.

The remains of the oldest town council building in Scotland - the ancient burgh’s former tolbooth - were uncovered last month on the north side of the thoroughfare, causing a delay in the works’ programme.

The next section to be excavated will be the south side of the carriageway and further archaeological evidence may be found.

Local authority engineer, Cameron Dickson told the Citizen: ”Owing to the delay following the discovery of the remains of the old tolbooth we now have an expected completion date of the end of November.

“If any more significant discoveries are made then this date may be pushed back. If so, the work will close down at the end of November and restart in January to allow unrestricted access to the street for the busy Christmas shopping period.”

However, he explained that the contractor was confident their work would be finished at the end of November.

He added: ”As with any major project like this there is the possibility that this could change, not only due to any possible archaeological finds, but any shallow services that may have to be diverted, or as we get closer to winter, the weather may hinder us. These are all things that are our outwith our control.

“If there was an important find then it may delay us by two weeks as did the first discovery, with a worst case scenario being a finish by the end of January.”

Market Street has been completely closed for three weeks, but is due to partially re-open next weekend.

The new zebra crossing is now in place using a mix of dark and light coloured granite setts to create the traditional black/white contrast, while the sett laying to allow the road to re-open is well underway.

The next section to be excavated will be the south side of the carriageway from the Tesco supermarket to the Subway takeaway and - following that - the next phase will include the tree pits to match the two trees already planted on the north footpath. They will be installed at the start of the planting season in November.