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Nottinghamshire County Council launch consultation on permanent closure of Rufford Ford to motor vehicles

A consultation has been launched today (February 5) on a proposal to permanently close Rufford ford to motor vehicles.

It follows recommendations approved by Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet members in December last year, and will last for a month until March 4.

Although motor vehicles would be prohibited from crossing the ford, access would still remain for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised modes of transport.

Rufford Ford. Credit: David Hallam
Rufford Ford. Credit: David Hallam

The consultation and supporting documents can be found here, and notices will be fixed on site.

Neil Clarke, cabinet member for transport and environment said: “Prioritising public safety at Rufford ford is our main concern. Our teams have thoroughly explored all the options and we truly believe that a full and permanent closure to motor vehicles is the best solution.

“Since the initial closure, we have been talking to local landowners and residents, as well as businesses and have incorporated these opinions. However, we will not be making a final decision without full consideration of the public view, and this is why the consultation is so important.

“I would also stress; this is not a complete closure. This option would offer the opportunity to transform Rufford Lane into a walking, cycling or horse-riding only route which is connected to other local footways and bridleways. This was actually the original purpose of the road - as a local crossing point of Rainworth Water before the advent of motor vehicles.”

An initial consultation letter was sent on December 20, 2023 to directly affected properties and key organisations, and this is the next stage of the consultation which allows the general public to comment on the proposed closure.

People who have responded to the initial pre-consultation do not need to send another copy of those observations as they will be carried forward.

Responses should be made in writing and can be submitted by post to the address provided or by email to tmconsultation@viaem.co.uk.

All responses to the consultation will be considered by the council before making a final decision.

The council explained the proposed changes are in response to an escalating road safety issue at the ford.

In 2022, police advised it was creating significant danger and requested that the county council used its powers to temporary close the road on the grounds of public safety, and the road was closed to motor vehicles in December 2022.

The council then considered several potential options and concluded that consulting on a permanent closure is the most viable. Nottinghamshire Police is also supportive of the proposals to permanently close the ford to motor vehicles.

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