THE STRAIGHT-TALK­ING SCOT JOHN “Scot­tish ral­ly­ing faces chal­lenges”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Road Rally fea­ture, p58 Photos: Jakob Ebrey, chas­ingth­e­cars.com

Time is run­ning out for the Jim Clark Rally to run as a close­droad event in 2017, an MSP told the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment last week.

The event hasn’t run since a fa­tal ac­ci­dent claimed the lives of three spec­ta­tors in 2014. Or­gan­is­ers hope to re­in­state the event for the 2017 sea­son, but per­mis­sion to do so has been held up by an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the deaths, and now, a con­se­quent Fa­tal Ac­ci­dent In­quiry launched by Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment last week.

A long-time sup­porter of the event, Et­trick, Roxburgh and Ber­wick­shire Con­ser­va­tive John La­mont, asked Par­lia­ment last Fri­day: “I wel­come progress on the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the tragic events of 2014. The Jim Clark rally con­trib­utes greatly to the Borders econ­omy, and its loss over the past few years has im­pacted sig­nif­i­cantly on lo­cal busi­nesses. Thoughts are now turn­ing to the 2017 event, which the or­gan­is­ers have told me is within weeks of be­ing can­celled.

“Will the Gov­ern­ment do all that it can, along­side Po­lice Scot­land and Scot­tish Borders Coun­cil, to fa­cil­i­tate the hold­ing of a closed-road rally event next year? Will she [Shona Ro­bi­son – Cabi­net Sec­re­tary for Health, Well­be­ing and Sport] con­firm that the hold­ing of a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry does not pre­clude the rally’s tak­ing place?”

Ro­bi­son sig­ni­fied that the min­is­ters are merely su­per­vi­sory and the fi­nal de­ci­sion lay out of their hands. “I am aware that the event or­gan­is­ers have no­ti­fied the Scot­tish Min­is­ters of their in­ten­tion to hold the Jim Clark Rally in 2017, and that they have sub­mit­ted a re­port that sets out how the pro­mot­ers in­tend to im­ple­ment the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion’s ‘Stage Rally Safety Re­quire­ments’,” said Ro­bi­son.

“An­other factor that needs to be con­sid­ered is the Crown Of­fice an­nounce­ment of the es­tab­lish­ment of a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry into the tragic deaths of a spec­ta­tor at the Snow­man Rally in Jan­uary 2013 and the deaths of three spec­ta­tors at the Jim Clark Rally in May 2014.”

Jim Clark good for lo­cal econ­omy

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