Swilcan switch: St. Andrews changes course on bridge additions
The people have spoken, and St. Andrews has heard them loud and clear.
Just over 48 hours since photos surfaced showing patio-like stone additions to each side of the famous Swilcan Bridge, St. Andrews Links Trust released its second official statement in as many days, saying Monday that it planned to remove the stonework.
“The stonework at the approach and exit of the bridge was identified as one possible long-term solution,” the statement read. “However, while this installation would have provided some protection, in this instance we believe we are unable to create a look which is in keeping with its iconic setting and have taken the decision to remove it.”
St. Andrews added that it would also be “reinstating the area with turf” as it looks toward other alternatives to keep the area protected from significant wear and tear.
Here is the complete statement:
The exploratory works around the approach to and from the Swilcan Bridge had been undertaken as part of ongoing attempts to mitigate the issue of significant wear and tear to the turf. In recent years we have identified and trialled a number of solutions, with the primary ambition always to find something that is both adequate for the amount of foot traffic for such a popular location whilst being in keeping with its surroundings.
The stonework at the approach and exit of the bridge was identified as one possible long term solution, however while this installation would have provided some protection, in this instance we believe we are unable to create a look which is in keeping with its iconic setting and have taken the decision to remove it. We have also taken on feedback from many partners and stakeholders as well as the golfing public and we would like to thank everyone who has been in touch for their contribution to the issue. The widespread attention and commentary is indicative of the regard in which St Andrews is held around the world and we are conscious of our role in preserving this heritage while recognizing its hallowed grounds have continued to evolve to meet demands for more than 600 years.
In the coming days our team will be reinstating the area with turf. We would like to thank golfers for their patience as we continue this work. In the meantime we will continue to explore alternative options for a permanent solution and will work with all relevant partners, including Fife Council, and key stakeholders.