JIM CLARK RALLY UNDER THREAT FIFE
THE STRAIGHT-TALKING SCOT JOHN “Scottish rallying faces challenges”
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.”