Consultation opens on rally’s return

Friday night, Duns town centre stage of 2014 Jim Clark Rally''Neil Simpson / Clair Mole
Friday night, Duns town centre stage of 2014 Jim Clark Rally''Neil Simpson / Clair Mole

A public consultation, as required by new legislation for closed roads rally events, has been opened into the return of the Jim Clark Rally.

New legislation introduced following the deaths of three spectators at the 2014 event means that before Scottish Borders Council can give approval for the rally (scheduled to take place on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9,) they have to consult the public about the planning and implementation of the event, plus they have to consider any potential impacts, both positive and negative, on local communities and businesses.

The public consultation is available online via https://scotborders.citizenspace.com/ and officers will also attend the next Berwickshire Area Partnership meeting on Thursday, June 6, to discuss the event plan, including the proposed route and timings. The online consultation will close on June 28.

The proposed rally route and timings can be found at www.scotborders.gov.uk/jimclarkrally

Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “This consultation is a chance for those, particularly on the route or in the surrounding communities, to voice their opinions on the organisers’ proposed stages and timings, and any impact it may have on them.”

“Following the consultation the council will weigh this up along with a variety of other factors before deciding on whether it is able to issue a Motor Sport Order for the event to take place.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s executive member for business and economic development, added: “Estimates have placed the economic benefit of this event at around £3.5m a year, so its potential return this November is extremely welcome, and a return to its more traditional date in May 2020 is even more exciting.

“The economic impact of the event is, as written in the new legislation, a key consideration for the council, however we absolutely have to take on board the views of our local residents, businesses and communities.

“I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the event to submit their views during the consultation process, either at the upcoming area partnership meeting or online.”