Finally a puff of white smoke from the Big Hoose at the foot of the Royal Mile in Auld Reekie. The legislation allowing the re-introduction of closed roads for sporting pursuits (including rallying) was signed-off on Wednesday of this week.
In other words, both the Jim Clark Rally and the Beatson's Building Supplies Mull Rally now have the green light to resume their motor sporting endeavours.
The new legislation will also allow other car clubs to pursue 'closed roads' for sprints, hillclimbs and rallies where local conditions favour and can accommodate such events. Just don't expect a rush of applications with new events springing up all over the calendar. The planning and logistics of such an event requires a strong and determined organising team and a lot of manpower. It might even be fair to say that such an event will be more difficult to organise than a forest rally!
A great number of people have spent a lot of time, energy and money on getting this sport 'back on the road' and we owe a huge debt of gratitude for their tireless efforts. And let's not forget the men and women behind the scenes inside Transport Scotland who have been so supportive all the way through. Rallying may not enjoy the public profile of football or rugby, but the Transport Scotland staff treated us as equals, and you can't say fairer than that.
All we have to do is show them that we are still the sensible and resilient bunch of people that we were before this hiatus fell on us. And that includes spectators, not just the seasoned and knowledgeable, but those who are simply attracted to the spectacle. We must all be on our guard to stop the eedjits from ruining it for the rest of us.
Both events have posted information on their own websites: