2015 Jim Clark Rally cancelled following deaths

Floral tributes following the death of three spectators during the Jim Clark Rally. Picture: JP
Floral tributes following the death of three spectators during the Jim Clark Rally. Picture: JP
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THE Jim Clark car rally ­scheduled for next May has been cancelled after three ­people were killed in a crash at this year’s event.

The decision comes following the deaths of three spectators at this year’s event after a car lost control and exited the road.

Scottish Borders Council said the decision had not been “taken lightly” and followed talks with Police Scotland and organisers.

Chief executive Tracey Logan said “every effort” had been made to allow the 2015 event to go ahead but it had “regrettably” not been possible.

Iain Provan, 64, Elizabeth Allan, 63, and Len Stern, 71, all from Glasgow, were killed and six other people injured after two accidents within two hours on the closed-road course in the Duns and Kelso areas.

The deaths occurred in the second crash at Little Swinton, near Coldstream, when a rally car came off the road and ploughed into spectators.

“Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland discussed the ­situation with Jim Clark ­Memorial Rally organisers,” Ms Logan said.

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“The rally is of significant ­importance to the Borders and we have reiterated our support for the event, and will provide every assistance we can to ­ensure that it takes place in future.

“The possibility of delaying the event to later in the year has been discussed and is being ­explored by organisers.”

Superintendent Angus MacInnes of Police Scotland said there needed to be a full ­understanding of the cause of the accident before planning for the next rally could begin.

“Having provided advice, we support the decision made by the local authority and believe it to be the only sensible course of action,” he said.

Ms Logan agreed, stating that a “vital part” of planning the event was a debrief from the previous year. “This is all the more important given the ­circumstances surrounding this year’s rally,” she added.

“However, such a debrief ­simply cannot take place, and will not be allowed to take place by the investigators until their work is completed, which may not be until well into next year.

She said the tragic events of this year’s rally had deeply affected all involved in the rally and the wider Borders ­community.

The event is a major source of income for the local tourist economy, bringing in £3.5 million in revenue.

The Scottish Conservatives have expressed disappointment at the move, adding that the party will work hard to ensure the rally can go ahead in future years.

Local MSP John Lamont has also sought an urgent meeting with the Crown Office to see how to ensure the famous event has a future. He said: “I know the organisers of this will be bitterly disappointed.

“The event is huge for the ­Berwickshire economy, and businesses will undoubtedly lose out as a result of this.

“However, I know the council has worked hard to try to get this to go ahead, and the ­priority now has to be to make sure it continues in future years.

“I’ll be working hard to that end, and I’ve sought an urgent meeting with the Crown Office to see if we can progress things.

“There are of course sensitivities surrounding this given what happened this year, but we have to come to a conclusion that suits everyone.”

SEE ALSO

Why did Jim Clark Rally continue, police ask

Tributes to victims of Jim Clark Rally crash

Jim Clark Rally deaths: Calls for accident inquiry

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