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Vehicular Access Crossing

In order to ensure that vehicle crossings are properly constructed, all domestic vehicle crossings will be built by Bedford Highways. We will deal with the provision of estimates and receive payments before the work is carried out.

Legal considerations

Planning permission is not usually required for such work, but will be if:

  • The property involved has the frontage directly on to a classified road.
  • The property involved is a listed building.
  • The property involved is other than a house for a single family, e.g. housing, commercial or industrial developments.

If you need to know the classification of a road then please contact us on the contact details below.

If it appears that your property comes within one of the classifications listed above and therefore requires planning permission, you should download an application from the planning pages of the website. Alternatively, you can contact the Planning and Housing Service Unit on 01234 718069 or email

Important notice about rights

The construction of a vehicle crossing does not give the occupier of the premises any particular rights, except to drive across the footway to gain access to his/her property; the crossing itself is part of the public highway.

From the date that the crossing is constructed, Bedford Borough Council will assume responsibility for its maintenance at no cost to the occupier, apart from any damage caused by illegal use.

If you decide to go ahead with the construction you must remove the fence, wall or hedge within the property at the place where the crossing will be located before construction can take place.


List of conditions relevant to the construction and the use of a domestic vehicle crossing after it has been completed.

Permitted types of vehicles

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.

Size of the crossing

The crossing will be constructed to dimensions that are suitable for vehicles to access the property. A crossing which covers the full frontage will not be permitted except in exceptional circumstances.

Shared access

Where the occupiers of two adjoining properties share a driveway, and wish to build a double width crossing to serve the two sites, one occupier should act on behalf of both parties.

Parking within your property

Your application will not be approved unless you are able to provide a suitable parking area within your property, this must be at least 6 metres long, measured from the front of your house to the boundary of your property and 3.6 metres wide. 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.

There may be instances where the above criteria are not met. In such cases approval may be given, subject to a site inspection by Bedford Borough Council. Our decision as to whether the application will be approved or refused is final.

No part of a vehicle parked within your property may project on to or over the highway. The crossing may not be used as a parking area and no part of it is exempted for the purpose of footway parking.


Where you are intending to use gravel or a similar loose material for your hard standing, you should consider the problem of material being carried on to the highway by the movement of the vehicle. This is especially true where the surface comes up to the boundary. Where material of this type is used, concrete or blacktop should be laid in a 5 metre strip from the boundary to the start of the gravelled area. This will help to reduce any problem. If the material is carried onto the highway it will be the responsibility of the occupier to remove it by sweeping etc.


The parking area within your property must be built so that water does not drain from it across the footway. Suitable drainage must be provided within the boundaries of your property.  

Street furniture

Where applicants have removed more of the wall or fence running along the boundary, than is required by the size of the crossing, it should be understood that an item of street furniture, i.e. lamp post, telegraph pole, traffic sign etc., may be erected at any time in the footway outside the area of a crossing, even though this may obstruct an area where there is no wall or similar feature.

Obstacles to construction

If the proposed position of the access is obstructed by a road sign, lamp post, or tree, etc. the location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. If this is not feasible, a decision will have to be made by Bedford Borough Council as to whether the item should be removed or relocated.

If a statutory authority is required to carry out work by relocating a fire hydrant, telegraph pole etc. any charges for such work will be the responsibility of the applicant, who will be required to produce written proof of approval by the authority to Bedford Borough Council before a crossing can be built.

If an applicant wishes the crossing to be placed in a location other than that recommended by Bedford Borough Council and this requires the relocation of a lamp post or similar item, which would not otherwise be necessary, he/she will be required to pay the full cost of relocation. At the present time this is approximately £1,000.

Alterations to your vehicle crossover

Bedford Borough Council may need to alter the layout of your vehicle crossover at any time, due to modifications in the footway or verge. Every effort will be made to maintain access to your property and the occupier of premises so affected will be given adequate notice of such works.


Any application for the construction of a domestic crossing may be refused or modified on the grounds of safety. The applicant must ensure that adequate sight lines are maintained to allow safe access to their property.

Gates across vehicle entrance

Gates fitted across the vehicle entrance to your property may in no circumstances open outwards across the footpath or carriageway.

What happens next?

If you require a crossing to be built, please contact us we will then check the viability of the proposal, and provide you with a written quotation for the construction.

You will need to pay £136.10 for a site visit and estimate of the cost of works.

You will be required to submit payment in full before we build the crossing.

Further information

Tel: 01234 718003
Online form:

Highways Helpdesk
6th Floor
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP

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