Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy during a practice ahead of the British Open last year. The last golf major of the year will be held at St. Andrews next week. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Spectators attending the 150th Open at St Andrews next week could face travel chaos with organisers urging them not to take trains because of industrial action by local operator ScotRail.

“Due to circumstances out of our control, we have no choice but to urge fans to not travel by rail to The Open and to use alternative means of transport to get to and from St Andrews next week,” Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director - Championships at The R&A, said in a statement.

“There is a risk that fans who travel by train may find there are no services to get them home.

“We appreciate that fans will be frustrated by this and share in their disappointment that the enhanced rail service planned for The Open will not operate.” With the R&A putting emphasis on sustainability and safeguarding the environment, they are now faced with the prospect of gridlocked roads as fans drive to the coastal course instead.

“Contingency measures will be in place, including increased capacity at Park and Ride facilities to cater for the expected rise in the number of fans travelling by road,” a statement said.

A total of around 290,000 fans are expected to attend the practise days and four tournament days and, with accommodation options in St Andrews limited, many fans will stay as far afield as Edinburgh, 50 miles (80km) away.