Train chaos: Fife MSP warning as 290,000 golf fans set for The Open in St Andrews

Rail cancellations will put Scotland’s reputation as the home of golf at risk as St Andrews prepared to host the 150th Open this summer, a leading politician has warned.

Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:12 am

Willie Rennie, North-East Fife MSP, has called on the Scottish Government to get contingency plans in place “as soon as possible.”

Almost 300,000 tickets have been sold for The Open, which runs from July 10-17, and with no public parking within the area, there are concerns the numbers could cause chaos in the university town.

Mr Rennie said: “Years of planning has gone into this event, and it is expected to bring in millions of pounds to the local economy.

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The Claret Jug pictured on the 18th Tee, during a preview of the 150th British Open Golf Championship at The Old Course (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

“That is being put at risk by the SNP/Green government’s rail cancellations.

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“These cuts will mean more people forced into cars, overflowing parking sites and attendees having to leave early.

“That means not only will they miss out on the sporting event that they have travelled so far for, but they will not linger in St Andrews spending money with local businesses.”

He appealed to Jenny Gilruth, Transport Minister, to ensure a contingency plans is in place.

Mr Rennie added: “As a Fife MSP, the Transport minister ought to know the importance of events like this. We need urgent confirmation that either services will be restored, or local infrastructure and transport will be beefed up to cope with the huge numbers of people heading to St Andrews.

“That means the government must publish their contingency plans as swiftly as possible and if necessary second more staff to Transport Scotland to make that happen.

“With the eyes of the world on St Andrews, the dangerous incompetence of the SNP and Green government is putting our reputation as the golf capital of the world at risk.”

ScotRail provides train services from destinations across Scotland to Leuchars – the nearest station to St Andrews.

An enhanced service will be in operation during the week of The Open, with additional capacity on key routes from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen and special services running earlier in the morning and later in the evening. A bus connection will be available from Leuchars Train Station directly to The Open.