Following recommendations approved by the cabinet member in December last year, a month-long consultation has launched today on a proposal to permanently close Rufford ford to motor vehicles.
Although motor vehicles would be prohibited from crossing the ford, access will still remain for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised modes of transport.
An initial consultation letter was sent on 20 December 2023 to directly affected properties and key organisations. This is the next stage of the consultation which goes out wider to the general public for comment.
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.
All responses will be considered by the council before making a final decision.
The proposed changes are a response to an escalating road safety issue at this location. In 2022, the Police advised this was creating significant danger and requested that the county council used its powers to temporary close the road on the grounds of public safety. The road was closed to motor vehicles in December 2022.
From this point, the council carefully 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.
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE 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.”