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Dropped kerbs/vehicle crossover

A dropped kerb, or vehicle crossover, is lowering of the kerb to give you vehicle access to your private property from the highway. 

You are not allowed to drive over a footway or verge unless a vehicle crossing has been constructed by us in accordance with section 184 of the Highways Act 1980.

Only we can build vehicle crossovers. It is an offence for anyone else to make any changes to the public footway. 

Apply for a dropped kerb

If you need a crossing to be built, please contact us.  We will then check to see if it can work on your property and give 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. This must be paid in full before we build the crossing.

Tel: 01234 718003
Online form: https://highwaysreporting.bedford.gov.uk/

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

Planning permission

Planning permission is not usually needed, but will be if the property involved:

  • has the frontage directly on to a classified road
  • is a listed building
  • is other than a house for a single family, eg housing, commercial or industrial developments

If you want a new or altered vehicular access as part of a planning application and you get planning permission,  you must check the list of conditions and informative notes at the end of the Decision Notice.

This will tell you if you need to submit more (or revised details) for the 'access junction with the highway' (verge/footway crossover).  It will also explain who to contact and when in order to get plans approved and the crossover built.

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 planning@bedford.gov.uk.

Dropped kerb construction and use conditions

List of conditions relevant to the construction and the use of a dropped kerb after it has been built:

  • Dropped kerbs can only be used by a private light goods or similar vehicle. It may not be used by heavy goods vehicles or mechanical equipment.
  • Your will be responsible for repairs if a delivery, such as a skip, is made into the property and damages the dropped kerb
  • The crossing will be built 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 us. 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.

Hardstandings

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.

Drainage

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 eg lamp post, utility pole, traffic sign 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, the location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. If this is not feasible, a decision will have to be made by us 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 for example, 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 us before a crossing can be built.
  • If an applicant wishes the crossing to be placed in a location other than that recommended by us 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.

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

H-bar line marking

If you already have a crossover and want to prevent people parking in front of it, we can provide a white crossover H-bar marking. This is a white line that runs across your driveway parallel to the kerb line. This emphasises that there is a driveway there and discourages parking in front of it.

Request an H-bar

To request an H-Bar application, please contact the Highways Helpdesk.

Tel: 01234 718003
Online form: https://highwaysreporting.bedford.gov.uk

  • H-Bar assessment  -  £93.90 (non refundable)
  • H-Bar assessment for Blue Badge Holders - free of charge
  • H-Bar road marking (all applications) -  £112.60
  • Blue Badge holders are exempt of the assessment fee. However, the Blue Badge holder must reside at the dwelling to where the road marking is to be instated. In addition, consent for us to liaise with the issuing authority of the badge must be given

An assessment will be carried out within 10 working days of the receipt of the completed application together with the appropriate fee.

We must be satisfied that the vehicle is to be stored off the public highway. If this cannot be demonstrated, the application will be refused.

After the inspection, we will write to you to advise whether your application was successful. If successful, we will send you a form requesting your consent to carry out the works and a request for payment for the marking.

Following receipt of your payment, we will endeavour to complete the works within two months. This is subject to the working conditions being appropriate i.e. weather conditions and providing the area is clear of parked vehicles.

Bedford Borough Council will be responsible for all future maintenance of the H-bar. The H-bar marking cannot be relocated and would be subject to a new application.

If someone parks and obstructs your driveway 

If a vehicle is seen to be parked in front/on a dropped kerb, our Enforcement Officers may issue a fine called a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) instantly to that vehicle.

There are two different types of dropped kerbs to which we consider enforceable. They are:

  • dropped kerbs to access residential premises and
  • dropped kerbs located on the Highway ie road crossings, wheelchair and pushchair access ramps.

Vehicles which are parked on dropped kerbs leading to residential properties can be enforced upon only at the request of the resident. It is difficult for an Enforcement Officer to identify whether the vehicle parked on the dropped kerb belongs to the resident of the property or to another motorist. Therefore we rely upon the resident to inform us, and resources permitted, we will attempt to visit the location as soon as possible. If the contravening vehicle is still at the location at the time of the Enforcement Officer's visit, then they may issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to that vehicle.

Please note that Bedford parking services have the powers to issue a PCN only. The vehicle may only be removed at the discretion of the police authority.

Tel: 01234 718003
Online form: https://highwaysreporting.bedford.gov.uk/

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