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County council recommends permanent closure of Rufford Ford on safety grounds

A notorious Nottinghamshire ford, which became a magnet for anti-social behaviour and YouTubers, could be closed permanently to vehicles for safety reasons.

Rufford Ford 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 on Rufford Lane 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.

Now the county council is to launch a public consultation for a minimum of four weeks recommending the permanent closure of the ford ahead of a final decision to be made by Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, the Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment.

The recommendation comes after the county council and its partners considered several options to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

Other options included improved traffic calming, a flood reduction scheme, traffic signals, building a bridge over the ford and restricting access to only approved vehicles. 

Councillor Clarke 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 (TRO) 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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