No closed road Jim Clark in 2016

Friday night, Duns town centre stage of 2014 Jim Clark Rally''Garry Pearson / Davey Robson
Friday night, Duns town centre stage of 2014 Jim Clark Rally''Garry Pearson / Davey Robson

Organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have announced that they will again run a forest based Special Stage Rally in 2016, as opposed to the traditional closed public road format.

The delay is due to the fallout from the 2014 edition of the rally, at which three spectators were killed.

A statement on the organisers’ website reads in part: “Hopes that this annual event could revert to a closed public road format have been delayed due to continuing investigations, with a ruling from the Lord Advocate’s office not expected until some time in 2016.

“That timeframe leaves the organisers with no choice but to delay plans for a resumption of their closed public road event until 2017.”

The statement continued: “It takes fully 12 months to organise a one or two stage rally in Scotland ...and whilst some events can be organised in a shorter timescale...a six-month timescale for next year’s event simply is not viable.”

John Lamont, local Conservative MSP, commented this week ahead of a planned meeting with the Lord Advocate to discuss the situation:“Everyone appreciates the need for the safety of spectators and participants, but people will be disappointed if 2016 is another year in which this event doesn’t take place.

“If this event was to be put on ice for another year that would be a very disappointing outcome.

“I will be making that very point to the Lord Advocate when I meet him this week.”

He concluded: “As an event, it is absolutely vital to the Borders economy.”

The Jim Clark Rally was first run as a closed road event back in 1997.