That Viral River Crossing in England Is Now Closed Because Too Many People Are Wrecking Their Cars

When a small-town side road gains internet fame, centuries of history can’t stop it from shutting down.

byNico DeMattia| UPDATED Jan 9, 2023 4:03 PM
That Viral River Crossing in England Is Now Closed Because Too Many People Are Wrecking Their Cars
YouTube via BENGREGRS
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In Nottinghamshire, England, there's an ancient river crossing named Rufford Ford that's believed to have been in use for more than 1,000 years. However, its time as a viable and legal car route has come to an end, at least temporarily. According to The Mirror, the Nottinghamshire local council has decided to close the ford after millions of TikTok views transformed it into a dangerous attraction.

During heavy rains, the river crossing's water level rises several feet and swells to nearly 30 feet wide, which causes any cars that dare plunge into it to get stuck. Local content creator Ben Gregory began posting videos of people getting stuck and having to abandon their cars, and since he started in 2020, he's received millions of views. Now it's become a trend as people attempt to cross the ford, and even more show up to watch.

When cars drive through the deep water, they often flood their engines, shutting down and leaving drivers stranded in water that's several feet deep. Sometimes they make it through but the engine gives up just a few feet afterward. Not everyone who attempts to cross the flooded ford does so with daredevil intentions, either—they just don't know how deep it is. However, there are measuring signs that indicate the current water depth, so there isn't much of an excuse.

Local police and fire departments have become so overwhelmed with rescue calls that the council felt there was no choice but to close it off to the public. The closure is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, indefinitely. The idea of building a bridge over the ford has been tossed around but there's no budget to do so. This means the ford must remain closed until an alternative traffic solution can be figured out.

I hate to sound like an old man yelling at the clouds, but it pains me to see something so historic shut down over TikTok stunts. That sounds like it should be a subplot from Idiocracy, and yet, it isn't going to stop anytime soon. Gregory wasn't the only one to post videos from the ford, and since this one's closed, they've all found others to stalk.

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