SPECTATORS at this year’s Ryder Cup will arrive at Gleneagles either by bus or train after the Perthshire venue was designated as a car-free zone for ticket-paying customers in the transport plan for the event.
The majority of the 45,000 fans per day due to attend golf’s biggest team tournament will use three park and ride facilities – at Balado on the outskirts of Kinross, Perth’s McDiarmid Park and Castleview in Stirling.
Buses from the Perth and Stirling facilities will use the A9 to and from Gleneagles, where two new terminals are being built for the event, while the ones from Balado, the site used for T in the Park, will take the A823 through Glendevon on the journey to the course but return via Perth on the A9 and M90.
It means the A823 – normally a popular route for anyone travelling to the Johnnie Walker Championship at the same venue – will be closed from Tuesday, 23 September, the opening day of practice, until Sunday, 28 September.
Trains will be the other form of transport used to ferry spectators to and from the event, which is being held in Scotland for the first time since the 1973 match at Muirfield and has since snowballed into the third-biggest sporting spectacular after the Olympics and the World Cup.
Gleneagles Station, which sits to the south of the course on the other side of the A9, is being enhanced as part of the Ryder Cup legacy and a temporary footbridge will carry spectators across the main Perth to Stirling road.
The area around the course will be free of spectator cars, with no access for private vehicles. Access to and from Auchterarder will be kept open, but road restrictions will apply.
Antonia Beggs, operations director at Ryder Cup Europe, said: “Our transport plans for the 2014 Ryder Cup aim to ensure that people can get on with their daily lives, whilst also help delivering one of the greatest sporting events in the world. We have tried to ensure that the event is as sustainable, safe and efficient as possible.”
Laurence Kenney, of Transport Scotland, added: “The three park and ride facilities, combined with enhanced rail provision, offer a number of options for spectators, while also minimising the impact on local communities.
“The Scottish Government investment in an upgraded Gleneagles Station and expanded park and ride at Stirling will encourage greater use of public transport during this prestigious event while leaving a lasting legacy for local communities.”
A series of meetings in the local communities effected began last night in Auchterarder. These are also being held tonight (Loch Leven Community Campus in Kinross), tomorrow (Council Chambers in Stirling) and Thursday (North Inch Community Campus in Perth).
An exclusion zone around Gleneagles will not be enforced, partly due to the A9 running so close to the boundary of the course.