The St Andrews Rail Link (STAR Link) Campaign has launched an initiative to increase student awareness and support for the reopening of the St Andrews Railway Station following its closure in 1969.
The campaign organisers will also be delivering a petition of just under 300 signatures to the SRC in an attempt to get the Students’ Association to take a more active role in supporting the campaign.
Dita Stanis, a local St Andrews resident, is one of the chief organisers of the campaign.
Mr Stanis said, “back in 1969 when the St Andrews Railway Station was about to be closed, the University of St Andrews was extremely vocal in its opposition. However, today, the University is nowhere near as vocal as it was back then, and that’s the kind of support we need to help us reopen this railway station.”
The STAR Link Campaign was officially launched in 1989 to raise awareness about the issue. However, lack of interest over the years meant that the original campaign gradually faded.
When asked why St Andrews needs a railway station, Mr Stanis said, “St Andrews is the home of golf, it’s a major tourist destination and home to Scotland’s oldest university.
“The town infrastructure can no longer cope with the increasing pressure placed on it from tourists, students, and commuters.”
He continued, “This all makes the economic and environmental case for a 21st-century St Andrews Rail Link.”
Currently a bus service (the X99) exists between Leuchars Railway Station and St Andrews Bus Station, but lack of coordination of the bus schedule and train arrival times means that it cannot be considered a dedicated bus shuttle service.
The student liaison for the campaign, fourth year Computer Science student Cameron Wright, also highlighted why current students living in “the bubble” might not feel an immediate need for a railway station.
“During my third year last year I had the opportunity to go abroad for a year and live outside of St Andrews, and when returning back with a very different perspective on things it struck me how inaccessible St Andrews is compared to other towns with universities similar to St Andrews.”
He further added, “It is true that there are a number of bus services that go in and out of St Andrews. However, commuters generally don’t prefer travel by bus when given the opportunity to travel by car or taxi which explains the low uptake number of these services.”