Friday 8 June 2018
Rally - Closed Roads
At last, a puff of white smoke from the shiny chimney high above Colnbrook as well as a puff of dark, smokey, peaty stuff through the hole in the thatch from Auld Reekie. Not so much a decision, more of a report on progress. Brief, but better than nowt, and long overdue.
The full text of the joint Press Release issued at 10.00am this morning follows. I'll give you time to digest and ruminate - before adding my own thoughts later:
- - - TRANSPORT SCOTLAND COMMITS TO CLOSED ROADS CONSULTATION - - -
Scottish Motor Sports (SMS) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA) are pleased to reveal that Transport Scotland will launch a public consultation on developing new legislation facilitating closed-road motorsport.
New legislation empowering local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motorsport events commenced last year in England and earlier this year in Wales, following a long campaign by the MSA and the wider motorsport community.
Now Transport Scotland has committed to setting up a stakeholder working group this summer to develop a public consultation on the future of closed-road motorsport in Scotland. The findings of the consultation will assist in the development of future regulations allowing motorsport to take place on closed roads. The news comes after SMS and the MSA enjoyed a positive meeting with Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands.
David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “We remain absolutely committed to our long-standing goal of achieving closed-road motorsport across mainland Britain and we’re pleased that Transport Scotland has started the journey towards new legislation. This would be a wonderful opportunity not only to revive famous events such as the Jim Clark and Mull Rallies but also to welcome new closed-road fixtures onto the Scottish motorsport calendar in years to come.”
Tom Purves, SMS Chairman, said: "I am delighted that progress is being made to get Scotland up to speed with the other constituent parts of the United Kingdom in the benefits to be gained from closed roads and the contribution motorsport can make to the general economy."
The MSA is the sole national governing body for four-wheel motor sport in the UK, as recognised by the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The MSA is a not-for-profit organisation (limited by guarantee) comprising around 750 affiliated motor clubs, which are represented by 13 Regional Associations nationwide. The MSA represents approximately 30,000 competition licence holders and nearly 11,000 volunteer marshals and officials, and issues around 5,000 event permits every year.
SCOTTISH MOTOR SPORTS (SMS) is the development body – funded by sportscotland – for two- and four- wheel motor sport in Scotland. SMS comprises a committee that works on behalf of the governing bodies (the Scottish Auto Cycle Union and the Motor Sports Association) to assist with the overall development of the sport through a collective approach to strategy and communications. The SMS committee is chaired by Tom Purves, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club. The rest of the group consist of representatives from various positions within two- and four-wheel motor sport, sportscotland and also EventScotland.