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Vehicle access - dropped kerbs

A crossing across a public footpath or verge for your vehicle to get to your property from the road is known as a 'dropped kerb', ‘crossover’ or ‘vehicle crossing’. It must be built to specific standards, approved by the City Council as the local Highway Authority, and in some cases planning permission is needed.

Note: It is wise to ascertain whether you are likely to be granted permission for a dropped crossing before developing your forecourt.

Dropped kerbs policy

A vehicular crossing is an area of strengthened, lowered footway and kerb which is used to give access to vehicles from a road, across the footway and onto a driveway or parking area. It is an offence under Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980, to cross a kerb, verge or footway in a motor vehicle except at a crossing point that has been approved by the Council.

The Domestic Vehicle Footway Crossing Policy, approved by Council Cabinet in January 2016, looks to achieve the following objectives:

  • To create a more flexible policy that allows applications for vehicle crossings to be permitted in a greater number of situations;
  • To reduce the number of unauthorised crossings in the City and create a more equitable situation for all;
  • To limit the amount of pavement damage caused by vehicles using unauthorised vehicle crossing across the City and reduce the cost to the taxpayer of funding associated repairs

The policy ensures that the location and use of vehicle access and dropped kerbs are safe and that they are made to appropriate standards and specifications.

The policy:

  • Makes clear to applicants the requirement under the Town Country Planning Act 1990 to apply for planning permission for access onto a classified road;
  • Sets out clear standards and guidance to applicants, particularly in respect of highway safety, forecourt and vehicle crossing dimensions;
  • Outlines any limitations to approval, including in respect of verges and amenity land;
  • Allows approved external contractors to construct crossings in the City, in addition to the Council’s own Direct Labour Organisation;
  • Enables the Council to carry out construction of a crossing where the resident refuses to do so, on a rechargeable basis.

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