Everything points to a rail solution

All these stories are relevant to the rail campaign. The increasing deluge of people attending an Open in St Andrews would be better conveyed by rail and although public transport use is down, rail use continues to rise, showing that the way to stem the increased use of cars is to provide more rail options.

The proposed Cupar North development, which includes 1480 new houses and a ‘relief road’ is likely to have significant repercussions on St Andrews. We know from the 2011 census that 7% of Cuparians work in St Andrews, with 74% driving and only 17% commuting by bus. Assuming the new homes will house 3000 people, by extrapolation that could mean another 155 cars travelling between Cupar and St Andrews every day. While they may not all use the A91, already the busiest road in North East Fife, the chances are that most will. Also the ‘relief road’ will generate extra car journeys, as do all such enhancements and with St Andrews being a prime destination, this is likely to result in even more cars driving to St Andrews, having first been funnelled through Dairsie and Guardbridge. A railway enabling travel between the towns in 10 minutes would surely attract many of these drivers out of their vehicles.

As for the forthcoming road closure at Guardbridge, what was noticeable about the coverage was that while maps were printed showing the extended route for drivers, absolutely no mention was made of the fact that this will include all buses from St Andrews to Leuchars Station, the so-called ‘Virtual branch Line.’ It is possible that most people have simply not realised that the time taken to reach the station is likely to double. Given that Leuchars is the fourth busiest station in Fife because it is the nearest station to St Andrews it is amazing that nobody in the Press appears to have realised this. The looming problems in accessing St Andrews demonstrate yet again the folly of relying on road access for such an important destination.