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Nottinghamshire County Council recommends permanent closure of Rufford Ford, near Ollerton, on safety grounds

A notorious ford, where cars regularly become stranded by high waters, could be closed permanently to vehicles on safety grounds.

Rufford Ford, on Rufford Lane, just outside Ollerton, has been shut to traffic since December 2022 while Nottinghamshire County Council, its highways partner Via East Midlands and Nottinghamshire Police looked to improve safety in the area and develop a longer-term solution.

The temporary closure came into force following an increase in incidents in the area, many of which were filmed by YouTubers who had travelled from across the country to capture vehicles driving at speed through the ford.

Rufford Ford is closed.
Rufford Ford is closed.

Now the council are launching a four week long public consultation recommending the permanent closure of the ford.

The recommendation comes after the council and its partners considered several other safety options, including; improved traffic calming, a flood reduction scheme, traffic signals, building a bridge over the ford and restricting access to only approved vehicles.

Rufford Ford has been closed.
Rufford Ford has been closed.

A final decision will be made by Neil Clarke MBE, the cabinet member for transport and environment, who said: “Road safety is a high priority for the county council and our recommendation for Rufford Ford to be closed permanently is one we haven’t taken lightly.

“The long-term solution must be to prioritise public safety and, while we and our partners have considered other options, we feel this can only be effectively achieved by closing Rufford Lane to traffic on a permanent basis.

“I am fully aware that Rufford Ford had become a social media phenomenon before the temporary Traffic Regulation Order was put in place.

“However, the option of re-opening it has been rejected due to a very significant risk that the anti-social and, at times, dangerous behaviour evidenced at the ford prior to the closure and amplified by social media will return.”

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