Although it may feel like everybody stays in halls, especially in their first year, there are a number of us who commute to St Andrews from the surrounding area. Considering many freshers have been left without uni accommodation (heart goes out to you my friend), you may find yourself having to commute. Whether you are living in Dundee, Leuchars or lost in the middle of Fife, I’ve gathered some tips for all new commuting students.
For reference, I would get buses from Dundee to St Andrews during my first semester and I drove for what we had of the second semester.
Travel – Bus
- Just like you would make sure you’d get to a job interview or a date in plenty of time in case anything comes up, so too do you need to factor in a sort of buffer period with your travel time to St Andrews. It seems like the route from Dundee always has roadworks or traffic or both, so be mindful that it’s better to leave early than late. Buses also have a habit of breaking down or not turning up.
- If you fork out for a pass at the start of the year from Stagecoach, you’ll save more money in the long run.
- If you’re not going to get a pass, download the Stagecoach app where you can buy tickets there (I think) cheaper than paper ones.
- The 99 buses can get pretty busy around Leuchars during peak hours which can become very uncomfortable, so avoid that if you can.
- Remember you need to wear a face mask on public transport!
Travel – Car
- You will have to pay for in-town parking but it’s a bit of a hassle. The closest place you can park for free in town is on The Scores but you have to get there before 8 am and know how to parallel park. It’s not worth it if you ask me.
- It’s much easier to park at The Gateway building or ABH and walk the 5 mins it takes to get to town. If you will be in the science buildings, you don’t have to walk as far so this is best for you. The walk to town isn’t that bad though and at least you get your steps in.
- If you’re parking at uni buildings, best get a (free) student parking permit so you can avoid getting tickets (I have never gotten a ticket but better safe than sorry).
- This allows you to park at Fife Park, David Russell Apartments, Albany Park, Agnes Blackadder Hall and Powell Hall free of charge.
- You can only apply after matriculating.
- If you’re going to pay for in-town parking, download RingGo so you can pay from your phone. This helps especially when you’re running late to a lecture or want to do something else before moving your car.
- In-town parking is free after 5pm.
- There are electric pumps at ABH.
- It’ll be cheaper for you to refuel your car at a supermarket (like Morrison’s on Largo Rd) than at a Shell fuel pump (like the one on Bridge St).
Travel – Bike
- I don’t know too much about cycling to St Andrews but I know it’s possible. For those cycling from Leuchars, there is a cycle path. Please wear a helmet – I don’t need the anxiety.
- Also please do not cycle on the main road itself if you can help it. Especially if it’s uphill. Everybody gets road-rage.
- I promise I am not anti-cyclist.
- There is a society for commuters called Townsend Society.
- There is also a common room for commuters in the basement of the ASC building.
- You first have to go to the front desk in the ASC building so that they can set up your matric card to open the door to the common room.
- The entrance is at the back of the ASC building; instead of heading straight on to the library from North St, turn right and follow the path to go down the steps (there is a sign). It may look shady but it’s legit I promise.
- The common room has a fridge, microwave oven, kettle. You can easily lunch there.
- It also has lockers to hire for £5 per year through Townsend, but you’ll probably have to share.
- The bathrooms there also have showers.
- Stagecoach have a night bus that takes you to Dundee/St Andrews on a Friday/Saturday night.
- A weekly pass doesn’t cover the cost for this.
- Although you may feel like you can’t make friends because you’re not living in halls, that’s very untrue.
- Best way to make friends, in general, is to join a society since you’ll share similar interests instead of just living arrangements.
- Talk to people in your classes! You’ll have somebody to panic over deadlines with.
- As stated previously, in-town parking is free after 5 pm. I’ve never struggled to park in town for a night out.