Petition calls for Jim Clark Rally decision

editorial image

An online petition is calling for a resolution to the investigation into three deaths at the 2014 Jim Clark Rally so the event can return to Berwickshire roads.

The petition, hosted by the website 38 Degrees, calls on the Lord Advocate of Scotland to allow a return to rallying on closed roads in the Borders.

So far, at the time of going to press, the petition had attracted over 900 signatures.

Russel Blood, event director for the rally and organiser of the online petition, said that the intention was “not to influence the Lord Advocate’s decision, but just to have a decision.”

The internet petition follows on from hard copies that have roved popular with borderers this summer.

“It started at Thirlestane, when the organisers of the Historic Motorinig Extravaganza invited us to have a stall there,” said Mr Blood, who acknowledges that the continuing hiatus puts the long term future of the rally at risk.

“There, we had paper copies of the petition, and they proved immensely popular. There was a signature every minute, and people queuing for the clipboards.

“Obviously, we are, all of us, sorry for the deaths at the 2014 event.

“But on the other hand, we are running out of time for next year, even now, and it’s stopping us trading as a business.”

It is thought that the rally is worth around £3.,5million to the Borders economy every year that it is held.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said last week: “Scottish Borders Council continues to liaise with the rally organisers.

“Once the ongoing investigation has concluded we will meet with them and hopefully start working towards preparing for the event to be held on closed public roads at the earliest opportunity - bearing in mind the planning timescales required for such an event.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office last week confirmed that it was still investigating the events of more than two years ago.

“The investigation, under the direction of the Crown’s health and safety division and the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU), into the tragic events at the rally in 2014 continues,” they said.

“The families will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Three spectators died after being hit by a rally car on a stage at Little Swintpon, near Coldstream, in 2014.

Kielder Forest hosted a revised event in 2015, which started in Kelso, but plans for a 2016 event were abandoned due to a lack of entries.