South Scotland

Jim Clark Rally organisers reveal revised plans

Rally deaths Image copyright PA
Image caption Three people died at the Jim Clark Rally in May 2014

The organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have revealed plans to stage it on private forest roads after three people were killed at last year's event.

The rally has traditionally taken place on closed public roads in Berwickshire.

Scottish Borders Council withdrew permission for this year with investigations still ongoing.

However, organisers have now unveiled plans for a rally on 31 May based in Kelso but with stages over the border in the Kielder Forest.

Clerk of the Course Colin Smith said that it was their "only option" in order to "maintain the continuity of an annual motor sports event in the Borders".

"The Forestry Commission have been very helpful and we are looking at a route with around 45 miles of forest road tests," he said.

Local MSP John Lamont welcomed the news. He said: "I am especially pleased the rally will start in the Borders, before heading across the border.

"I also look forward to meeting with the Lord Advocate shortly to discuss what can be done to ensure the planning for the 2016 event is not unnecessarily delayed."

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council said they were "pleased" that rally organisers have managed to organise an event and that it will be based in the region.

He added: "The use of private land is a good alternative to ensure a Jim Clark Rally can take place in 2015, and we continue to look forward to the event's return to closed public roads in the future."

Organisers have said plans are "well under way" for the 2016 Jim Clark Rally.

Iain Provan, 64, Elizabeth Allan, 63, and Len Stern, 71, died on a stage of the rally near Coldstream at last year's event.

It prompted a major safety review, the findings of which were revealed earlier this year.

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