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Community engagement

The 149th Open: Information for local residents and businesses 

Staging The Open in 2021

In 2021, the Open Championship is returning to Royal St George’s for the first time since 2011.  The 149th Open will be played from Sunday, 11th July to Sunday, 18th July 2021.

The Championship, originally scheduled for 2020, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic but planning and preparations have continued, ensuring full compliance with all government guidelines, in order to stage The 149th Open safely for all involved.

The R&A has confirmed that it will be able to welcome up to 32,000 fans on each Championship day of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s and that this will include those existing ticketholders and hospitality guests who have already purchased tickets. 

Resident Access Permits

From 11 to 18 July 2021 temporary traffic restrictions will be in place in Sandwich, Deal and the surrounding area, in order to manage traffic flows to and from The Open and minimise congestion in the town.

For residents and businesses affected by these changes we are implementing a permit scheme.

Local residents do not require permits to access Sandwich town centre.  Permits will required by residents and businesses to access some areas in Sandwich, including locations near to Royal St George's Golf Club and the Sandwich Bay Estate. These include:

In Sandwich, residents and businesses on:

  • Guilford Road
  • King’s Avenue
  • New Downs Farm
  • North Road
  • Prince’s Drive
  • Sandown Lees
  • Sandown Road
  • Waldershare Avenue

In Deal, residents and businesses on:

  • Golf Road (North of Ethelbert Road)
  • Greenacres
  • Redhouse Wall

Complete an application online by midday on Wednesday 30th June.  Permits will be issued by post.

Start your Resident Access Permit application >>

Displaced Parking Permits

Residents who may be affected by road closures and 'no waiting restrictions' in place during The Open can apply for a Displaced Parking Permit giving them access to the Coach Park, off Sandown Road. This is open to any resident or business owner who requires parking provision during the week of The Open. 

Complete an application online by midday on Wednesday 30th June.  Permits will be issued by post. 

Start your Displaced Parking Permit application >>

Arrangements for Taxis 

A road closure will be in place along Sandown Road, Guilford Road and Golf Road from the junction of St George’s Road in Sandwich to the junction of Ethelbert Road in Deal from 11-18 July 2021.

Local taxi drivers can request a permit to access the closed road for general business requirements and to the venue for drop off and collection of passengers attending The Open.

A dedicated taxi area will be located in the Purple B car park, close to the main entrance of the venue. This will be clearly signposted on event signage.

To request a permit to gain access through the road closure, please register in advance by submitting your full name, contact details, vehicle registration number and PHV licence number via email to with the subject header “Taxi Permit Request” before 30 June. Weekly permits will be available for collection on or after Sunday 11 July from The Open Parking Office located in the Coach Park off Sandown Road, Sandwich.

If you have any queries in relation to taxi operations at The Open please email the above contact.

DDC Car Parks in Sandwich

To ensure local residents and businesses can still use DDC's car parks, and to encourage spectators for The Open to use the official Park-and-Ride facilities, the DDC car parks at The Guildhall, The Quay and Gazen Salts will all have a temporary four hour maximum stay for the duration of The Open (11-18 July 2021). Sandwich Zone J and Sandwich Business permit holders will not be affected by the changes to the maximum stay periods. 

Train travel to The 149th Open

Southeastern provide train services between London terminal stations to destinations across Kent and East Sussex. It also operates the UK’s only domestic high speed rail service, with trains running to and from London St Pancras International. 

Trains for The 149th Open Golf Championship will run from London St Pancras International to Sandwich – the nearest station to Royal St George’s Golf Club. These trains will also call at stations such as Ashford International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International, and connecting services will allow travel to destinations such as Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone. 

Southeastern is running additional trains to accommodate extra passengers and all passengers will require a mandatory reservation on certain morning trains from London St Pancras International to Sandwich and all stations along the route for the duration of The 149th Open. Reservations will apply from 06:00 – 10:37 (10:34 on 17 July) and will guarantee a space on the train but not necessarily a seat, spaces will sell quickly, so book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

No reservation is required on the return journey and a managed queuing system will be in place at Sandwich to assist passengers with their journey. 

Highspeed trains from London St Pancras International take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to Sandwich, and a dedicated, traffic-free walking route will be provided between the train station and Royal St George's Golf Club, which will take around 15-20 minutes. 

If you require assistance whilst travelling, you can book Passenger Assist online or through Southeastern’s app. Please book at least 6 hours in advance of the start of your journey. If you require assistance between the station and the golf course, details can be obtained by contacting The Open Ticket Office on 01334 460010 or by emailing

For more information on train services and to purchase tickets, please visit the Southeastern website.


As part of improving the transport plan for The Open we have sought to reduce the number of cars parked locally to the venue by 50% compared to 2011. We will achieve this by providing more park and ride sites to both the north and south of Sandwich and the golf course. These additional parking facilities will be served directly from the strategic road network and will create capacity for around 12,000 cars.

The northern park and ride site is to be located on farmland to the west of Cliffsend village, situated directly adjacent to the A299 Hengist Way.

In order for cars and buses to safely access and exit the Park and Ride site and to keep congestion to a minimum, Canterbury Road West will be closed to through traffic from Sunday 11th July through to Monday 19th July. Canterbury Road West will be closed to the west of number 54, where the large Jentex and Manston Airfield exit points are located. The remainder of the road to the Cliffsend Roundabout on the A256 will only be available to traffic using the Park and Ride site.

As part of this closure, the traffic signals at the traffic calming chicane will be switched off and the traffic will be controlled by marshals. When the Park and Ride operation is not in use overnight and the marshals are not in attendance, the road will remain closed and sterile for the safety of the public. 

Access to all properties will be maintained from the eastern end of Canterbury Road West, off of Lord of the Manor interchange.

Construction Phase

Together with Dover District Council and Kent County Council, The R&A developed an extensive plan for construction of the on-course infrastructure at Royal St George’s Golf Club.  Construction started in March 2021.

A series of measures have been implemented to minimise disruption for local residents and businesses and ensure all work relating to construction of the venue strictly adheres to the UK Government’s latest guidelines reducing the risk of Covid-19.

An off-site contractors’ reporting office has been set up for the construction phase with all deliveries managed to keep contractor vehicle movements on local roads to a minimum.


Protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the construction phase at Royal St George’s Golf Club and the local community is the foremost priority.

During the construction phase, a strict set of health and safety protocols are in place to guide staff and contractors working on site at Royal St George’s Golf Club. This includes the need for social distancing, use of face masks and regular hand sanitisation. Health screening and testing is also in place.

These protocols are continually monitored and adapted to ensure that they comply with the most up-to-date advice and guidance being issued by the UK Government and the local agencies. The construction phase has been deliberately planned so that the number of people working on-site is restricted to essential personnel only and access to the venue will be carefully controlled and managed.

All staff and contractors staying locally in Kent will be instructed to follow the UK Government’s latest guidelines in relation to Covid-19.

Public Footpaths

Public Footpath EE231, which forms part of the Saxon Shore Way and passes through Royal St George’s Golf Club, is closed for its entire length (from North Stream to Prince’s Drive) from Tuesday 6 April until Friday 20 August 2021. An alternative route between the Green Wall path and the beach will be signposted along public footpaths ES1 and EE230 via the Stour Valley Walk. This footpath closure is necessary to ensure the safety of members of the public and contractors due to the construction work taking place around the golf course.

Map for construction

Parking Restrictions

To facilitate the safe movement of HGVs to and from the venue and ensure the safety of the public, temporary ‘no waiting’ (no parking) restrictions on St George’s Road were implemented from Monday 29 March and remain in place until Saturday 10 July.

These restrictions will then be re-implemented on St George’s Road after The Open (Monday 19 July) and remain in place whilst infrastructure is removed from the venue, with an estimated completion by 27 August.

Large delivery vehicles are held at the off-site reporting office and are not permitted to drive to and from Royal St George’s Golf Club between 8-9am and 3-4pm on weekdays. This is to avoid additional traffic congestion around school opening and closing times.

During the week of The Open, additional parking and traffic restrictions will be implemented on roads in Sandwich and Deal. 

Further Information

The R&A wishes to thank all local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding during the construction phase for The Open. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you require more information or wish to raise a query please contact one of the following organisations:

Business Toolkit

Want to know how your business can get involved and make the most of the opportunities from The Open?  See The Open Business Toolkit, packed with hints and tips on making the most of the commercial opportunities that come with hosting one of the world's greatest sporting events.

Buying Tickets for The Open

If you're planning a visit to The Open its important that you only buy tickets from official sources, including or The R&A's Authorised Ticket Providers.

Any tickets made available on websites such as Viagogo,, Stubhub, eBay and Gumtree are done so without the permission of The R&A and as such, may be refused entry to the Championship.

Community engagement

Community drop-in events were held on 30 May 2019, and on 10 February 2020.  A planned event in May 2021 is now an online exhibition due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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