Highways chief to continue improvements to Rufford ford

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Highway chiefs say they will continue to make improvements along a stretch of road following the latest in a long list of accidents.

Two men had top be rescued from a van which had skidded on ice and crashed at the water splash on Rufford Lane.

The accident prompted renewed calls for safety measures, particularly for Rufford Lane to be included on Nottinghamshire County Council’s gritting route.

Jo Horton, Newark and Sherwood district highway manager, at the council, said: “We sympathise with everyone involved in this unfortunate incident. Rufford Lane is not currently one of our gritting routes, however, gritting routes are constantly reviewed.

“Difficulties reported at this location are not restricted to the winter months which is why we have done all that we can to alert drivers to the presence of the ford and to encourage them to slow down at this particular location.

“Nottinghamshire County Council, as highways authority, has continued to make significant signage and other improvements along the length of Rufford Lane.”

She added that HGV restrictions are also in place and continues to be enforced.

Local resident and parish councillor, Frank Eyre, felt a permanent barrier was needed for when the ford was flooded.

But he said the water splash was only one issue, with speeding another issue.

“Drivers come out of the ford then put their foot down. It’s a combined problem. It’s a rat run between the A614 and Wellow.

“We did a survey last year and found that about 174 cars broke the speed limit along the lane in just a few hours.

“Then there’s the cost the emergency services, because in the last 10 years there’s been about 150-160 accidents.”

The ford at Rufford was recently named as Britain’s flood accident hotspot in Britain .

Ninety-six flood-related rescues have taken place in the past five years.

But problems with ice and speed have always played a key part in accidents on Rufford Lane.

Earlier this month two men were rescued from their overturned van after skidding on ice. Luckily, both escaped injury.

Three weeks before that, a lorry skidded at the same spot and ploughed through a fence, uprooting concrete posts an narrowly avoiding a cottage.