ScotRail is reminding golf fans travelling to The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews to consider their travel options and know what alternative transport is available due to the temporary timetable currently in place.
The train operator is running a very limited number of trains to and from Leuchars, the nearest station to St Andrews, during The Open which starts today, Sunday, 10 July and ends on Sunday, 17 July 2022.
The temporary timetable sees trains operate roughly every 60 minutes between Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Leuchars throughout The Championship.
On 23 May, ScotRail introduced a temporary timetable to provide greater certainty and reliability for customers as a result of a significant number of drivers declining to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working, as is their right, due to ongoing negotiations around driver pay.
While progress in these pay negotiations has been made and the drivers’ union ASLEF has put ScotRail’s latest pay offer to a referendum of its members with a recommendation to accept, the result of this vote will be announced tomorrow, Monday, 11 July. However, without drivers returning to work rest days and overtime, the temporary timetable remains in place. The result of the ballot cannot be pre-judged and if the offer is accepted it will take a short period of time to restore services as these are based on driver availability and returning to previous rosters, however, ScotRail’s aim is to return to a full timetable at the earliest opportunity.
ScotRail is advising customers that space on board trains is very limited, and no rail replacement transport is available, so customers should plan ahead, check their entire journey, and know what alternative modes of transport are available to them and is advised.
The local bus network operated by Stagecoach links St Andrews to Dundee, Cupar, Glenrothes, and the villages around the East Neuk of Fife, as well as an express bus service connecting to Glasgow and Edinburgh. More information on bus services can be found via Stagecoach and Moffat and Williamson .
Additional Park and Ride facilities is available for fans travelling to The Open by road. Spectators travelling to the Championship by car or motorcycle will be directed to The Open Park & Ride sites by Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) and specific black and yellow event signs provided by the AA. Park and Ride tickets are available on The Open website .
Those travelling by rail are being encouraged to plan ahead and expect long queues at stations.
ScotRail has extra staff at stations ready to assist customers, and the train operator is reminding everyone that the carrying and consumption of alcohol is prohibited on ScotRail trains and in ScotRail stations.
Customers can view ScotRail’s refund policy online at scotrail.co.uk/refunds .
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:
“We’re disappointed that we are unable to provide the same level of support to the Championship as we have done in previous years, with additional services and extra carriages.
“We’ve been working closely with key partners, including the R&A, Fife Council, and Transport Scotland, and we’re doing everything we can to play our part and support travel to the historic event, but regrettably, our temporary timetable will still be in place throughout The Open.
“This means there is a very limited number of trains to and from Leuchars – the closest station to the course – so we urge fans to plan ahead and consider their travel options.
“Space on board our trains is limited, so I’d urge anyone travelling to The Open to consider alternative modes of transport as there will be significantly long queues at stations and we may not be able to get you to the course.
“There’s more information and travel advice on our website at scotrail.co.uk/theopen .”
Leuchars station car park is now closed to the public to allow it to be used as a spectator queuing area at busy times.
To help people plan their journey, ScotRail is also advising people to allow upwards of an hour for queuing at key stations during peak times, including at Leuchars, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket, and Glasgow Queen Street.
More spectator information, including a list of prohibited items, can be found online at www.theopen.com/spectator-advice-2022