GOLF fanatic Prince Andrew has finally ditched the royal chopper and is understood to be hitch-hiking to The Open.
Airmiles Andy has been attacked in the past for taking helicopters on golf jollies and putting the bill on expenses.
Now, however, he is said to be under strict orders from the Queen to cut costs and 'get native'.
Buckingham Palace has been under intense pressure to trim it's budget since Chancellor George Osborne froze the civil list in June whilst The Queen is also said to be anxious that family members do not appear to be too extravagant in a time of recession.
bigmike understands His Royal Highness is taking the slightly longer but much faster M6 route up the West Coast in the hope of making it to St Andrews for the final stages of the week-long competition.
Lothian-based trucker Jim 'Dingo' McKerracher took the Prince from Watford Gap services on the M1 to Lymm Services in Cheshire and later spoke to bigmike:
"Ach fair play tae him like. He wis sound enough.
"We hud a right old chinwag aboot the Falklands cuz ah wis there wi' the Paras like and a'body kens he wis over there as weel, flyin' choppers.
"I dropped him at Lymm coz it's a good spot for thumbin' and he said he wis gonnae boot it up tae Larkhall then cut o'er the A71 tae the back ae Edinburgh like.
"Ah telt him tae try and get tae Livingston, or theraboots, 'n then do a Shanks's Pony through Broxburn tae Newbridge Services. Ye'll always get a truck tae the Kingdom fae there like.
"Ahm aff that way mesel, but I've tae stop for ma nine hours ken?
"I'd pick him up again though. Nae probs. He's hardy - humpin' his clubs a the way tae Fife like that."
British Royals are never far from controversy when it comes to helicopters.
Together they spend upwards of £2 million a year on private choppers and in 2008, second in line to the throne Prince William took an RAF Chinook to his mate's stag bash on the Isle of Wight.
*Have you seen Airmiles Andy on the road? Given him a lift perhaps? Email Mutter Monkey.