Open top bus tours of Kate Middleton and Prince William's university town end

  • Seasonal tour serving St Andrews since 2013 will not return this summer 
  • Stagecoach East Scotland says its seen falling demand in recent years
  • Tourism to Scotland has grown but visitors want to do different things 

St Andrews is scrapping its open top bus tours due to lack of demand.

The decision on Monday comes after a review of last summer's tours by the operator Stagecoach East Scotland.

But while the bus itself will not be appearing in the historic town, it is due to be incorporated into an existing coastal route in Fife.

The seasonal tour serving St Andrews since 2013 will not return this summer after its operator Stagecoach East Scotland saw falling demand from visitors

The seasonal tour serving St Andrews since 2013 will not return this summer after its operator Stagecoach East Scotland saw falling demand from visitors

Prince William on the beach in St Andrews. The Prince read History of Art at the Scottish University

Prince William on the beach in St Andrews. The Prince read History of Art at the Scottish University

The service was first introduced in the summer of 2013 and ran daily with local driver Mike Reid operating as the guide at the same time.

It stopped at a number of popular attractions, including St Andrews Cathedral and Swilcan Bridge.

According to a statement posted on Stagecoach East Scotland's website on May 2, there has been 'a noticeable change in demand with less tourists making use of the dedicated tour' over the last few years.

As a result, the seasonal service will not return this summer. 

But the experience in St Andrews seems to be in stark contrast to elsewhere in the country where sightseeing buses are still being introduced.

Barry Island in Wales has recently unveiled a new sightseeing service according to Barry & District News while Inverclyde Now reported that the open-top tour in Inverclyde is running for the second year thanks to the influx of cruise visitor.

Over in the USA, the sightseeing transportation industry has grown year-on-year.

According to research by Ibis World, the annual growth of the industry between 2010 and 2015 is 5.6 per cent. 

But while the bus itself will not be appearing in the historic town, it is due to be incorporated into an existing coastal route in Fife

But while the bus itself will not be appearing in the historic town, it is due to be incorporated into an existing coastal route in Fife

What's more, annual tourism numbers and spending in Scotland as a whole has seen substantial growth. 

Earlier this year, the Scottish government announced that visitors from the UK to Scotland alone has jumped by nine per cent in 2015.

It seems that the visitors are looking for different things in St Andrews.

Last year baffled Twitter user Jack Grimes said: 'Can't believe there's an open top tourist bus doing tours around st Andrews, there's about three f*****g streets.' 

One St Andrews resident said: 'It looks like open-top buses are going the way of seaside rock. Most tourists come to St Andrews by car, and the open-top tour is seen as a bit out-of-date.'  

While St Andrews itself will no longer be featured on a city sightseeing tour, the open top bus will continue to operate as part of an existing coastline route.

The Fife Coastliner 95 will connect St Andrews with Kingsbarns, Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans, Elie, Upper Largo, Lower Largo and Leven. 

 

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