Applying for a dropped kerb
A crossing across a public footpath or verge for your vehicle to gain access to your property from the highway is known as a 'dropped kerb', crossover or vehicle crossing. It must be built to specific standards and approved by your council and in some cases planning permission is also required.
Your local council, acting as the Highway Authority, is responsible for maintaining footpaths. It is illegal to build a crossing over a public footpath without a certified crossing or dropped kerb. This is to ensure that the crossing is strong enough to take the weight of the vehicle and does not create a hazard for pedestrians and other footpath and road users. Your council has the power to close or remove a vehicle crossing or dropped kerb if it has been constructed without permission.
Making an application
You can make an application to your local council who will usually carry out the work and charge you for the costs. Some authorities may allow you to use a private contractor from an approved list of companies or require the contractor to meet strict legal requirements.
The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.
Considerations to take into account
There are a number of points to consider before you make your application:
If your property:
- has the frontage directly onto a classified road
- is a listed building
- is other than a house for a single family (for example, flat, maisonette, commercial or industrial premises)
then you will need to gain planning permission from your council before the work can take place.
- Making a planning application
Parking within your property
Your application will not be approved unless you can provide a suitable parking area within your property. There must be enough space around this area for pedestrian access. If the width of your property is more than 8m these conditions may not apply.
If these criteria are not met, approval may be given, subject to a site inspection by a Highway Inspector. The Highway Inspectors decision is final.
No part of a vehicle parked within your property may project onto or over the highway.
Types of vehicles permitted
A domestic vehicle crossing may only be used by a private light goods or similar vehicle. It may not be used by heavy goods vehicles or mechanical equipment. If a delivery, such as a skip, is made into the property, and in doing so the delivery damages the crossing, any repairs will be the responsibility of the occupier.
- What you can drive and your obligations (motoring section)
The size of the crossing
The width of a standard crossing is 2.44 metres at the back of the public footway. This increases to about 4.58 metres at the kerbline. Crossings up to twice that width or two separate crossings may be built where there is enough space to leave a continuous length of two metres of unused space at the kerbline. Crossings that cover the full frontage of the property are not allowed.
Where two properties share a driveway, and both occupiers wish to build a double width crossing to serve the two sites, one occupier should act on behalf of both parties.
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