It’s official! The notorious Rufford Ford is the number one flood-accident hotspot in Britain.
Ninety-six flood-related rescues have taken place in the past five years at the ford on Rufford Lane.
The statistics have been released by the Environment Agency and AA as part of a warning to drivers who still take unnecessary risks by driving through flood water.
Morgan Wray from the Environment Agency said: “The ford in Rufford Lane is adjacent to Rufford Park, which is a very popular area for local people and visitors.
“With any flood water, it can be hard to tell what hazards lie beneath, so don’t be tempted to save time of a detour by driving through.
“We encourage drivers to check the flood risk for their entire route before they travel so that they can plan alternative routes if necessary.
“Our flood warning information on GOV.UK is updated every 15 minutes and can help anyone plan a safe journey.”
A joint survey by the two organisations show that despite the wettest winter on record, more than 60 per cent of UK motorists – 20 million in total – would still risk an accident by driving through flood water.
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said: “During last winter, which was the wettest on record, we alone attended around 4,400 flood-related call-outs but many were completely avoidable.
“Some people don’t fully appreciate the dangers posed by flood water. Fords catch a lot of people out. Just because it’s a designated crossing point, don’t assume that it’s always safe to cross – the depth of the water and its flow rate can quickly change with the weather.
“Just one foot or 30 centimetres of moving water can float your car, so if you’re at all unsure of the conditions, turn round rather than risk your vehicle being swept down river.”