ORGANISERS have cancelled this weekend's NCS Border Counties Rally due to the snow.

A decision was made on Friday that due to the extreme conditions currently prevailing in the South of Scotland and Tweed Valley forests, they are unable to guarantee the safety of competitors, marshals, volunteers and officials.

The rally was due to depart from Jedburgh on Saturday.

The organising executive committee of the Hawick and Border Car Club and Whickham and District Motor Club held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in the stages which have been subject to the unprecedented snowfall and ice which has covered the region in the past few days.

Clerk of the course Clayton Lackenby told us: "The entire team have been working flat out to come up with a plan and numerous solutions to overcome the conditions in the area and quite simply this course of action to postpone is down to the safety of everyone involved in the event as this can never be compromised.

"We are of course disappointed to have to make this decision but we felt it only fair to give everyone as much notice as possible due to the significant distances competitors and volunteers have to travel.

"We would like to thank our sponsors NCS, local and regional councils and of course the championships for their ongoing support at this time."

During the meeting it was revealed that all local forestry operations have been suspended and any snow plough access to the forests would not be possible until the early part of this week.

With the set-up process usually commencing the weekend before the event, consisting of thousands of stakes, notices and tape being erected well in advance, organisers would also be unable to ensure the event meets the required safety standards.

The continuing threat of drifting snow was also taken into consideration.

This weekend's rally was due to be the opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship and second round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship and a round of the Motoscope Northern Historic Championship and the Border Rally Challenge.

Organisers will be in talks with the championships, sponsors and stakeholders to seek an alternative date for the event to run later this year.