Vehicle Crossings (Dropped Kerbs)

Why construct a dropped kerb?
Footpaths are designed and built for pedestrians. If they are persistently driven over by vehicles, damage can occur to the surface of the footpath and the kerbs as well as buried pipes and cables. This can create hazards and be expensive to repair.

Where vehicle access is required to a property across a footpath or verge on the public highway, a vehicle crossing must be approved and constructed by the Council.

It is an offence to drive a vehicle over a footpath or verge without a properly constructed vehicle crossing and the Council has powers under the Highways Act 1980 to serve a notice on offenders and to recover all reasonable costs for the construction of a crossing or reinstatement of the highway.

The Council will generally approve applications for vehicle crossings to help reduce the number of vehicles parked on the road. However, each application is considered against set criteria as well as on its own merits and some properties may not be approved for safety or other reasons.

Applying for a dropped kerb
This section will outline the most common criteria used for deciding whether a vehicle crossing application is accepted. It is recommended that you read these carefully as there is a non-refundable application fee of £97 for the survey.

Please note that every vehicle crossing application is judged on its individual merits as well as the criteria below and that any existing crossings in the local area do not set a precedent in terms of approval.

  • Is there enough room on your property between the back of the footpath or verge and the front of your house or garage? The recommended depth is five metres to ensure an average-sized vehicle does not overhang the footpath. The type of vehicle you own is not taken into account.
  • Is your driveway wide enough? A minimum width of 2.4 metres is required for each vehicle.
  • In some circumstances it is possible to consider parallel parking. In these instances the driveway must be at least seven metres wide and at least 3.6 metres deep. This will only be considered where the crossover would have space for easy entry and exit and low pedestrian usage.
  • Is there a safe distance between the position of the vehicle crossing and a road junction? Crossings must be at least ten metres from a junction and this may be increased to fifteen metres on major roads or close to busy junctions.

  Proposal for vehicle crossing

  • Will you have adequate visibility of other vehicles and pedestrians using the road and foopath? A distance of two metres on either side of the crossing and two metres from the back of the footpath must be kept clear of any plants, objects or structures taller than 600mm. Greater visibility may be required on classified or busy roads.

Proposal 2 for vehicle crossing

  • If you live on a busy road you may be required to have enough space on your property in which to turn a vehicle. This would avoid the need to reverse onto a busy road.
  • Does the access restrict the use of a parking bay or lay-by? If so, your application may be refused.
  • Will the access have a detrimental impact on the amenities of the area? If it is likely to result in the loss of, or damage to, an established tree or major area of grass your application may be refused.
  • Are you the owner of the property in question? If not, you will need to obtain permission from the land owner and provide written confirmation from them before your application can be considered.
  • How steep will the crossing and your driveway be? Both the proposed vehicle crossing and your proposed driveway must have a gradient of less than 1 in 10 (10%). You may be asked to provide a plan for your proposed driveway to show how you will avoid an excessive gradient.

If you meet all of the above criteria, you may decide to submit an application for a vehicle crossing. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to overcome these criteria. To discuss site-specific details please contact Highway Services on 01992 785548.

Making an application
Complete a vehicle crossing application form and send it to Highway Services, Borough of Broxbourne, Broxbourne Business Centre, Fairways, New River Trading Estate, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, EN8 0NP along with a payment of £97 (payment details can be found on the application form). The Council will then carry out a survey and check all the criteria described above as well as considering other site specific details and the individual merits of the application.

If the application cannot be approved, you will be advised that a crossing cannot be constructed and you cannot proceed any further. The application fee of £97 is not refundable in these circumstances. If your application is approved, you will be sent a quote for the construction of the crossing.

Costs and timescales
The cost of constructing a vehicle crossing varies depending on the size of the proposed crossing, the amount of work involved and any other individual site conditions. However, as a guide, crossings are likely to cost in the region of £1,100. This will be in addition to the non-refundable application fee of £97, which must be paid when making the application.

The quote will not include any costs arising from additional work found to be necessary over and above the original standard specification, such as alterations to the public utilities plant. The cost of this additional work would be met by the applicant but would be discussed with them before being undertaken.

The Council aims to respond to your application within ten working days of receiving it. If a quotation is provided, it will be valid for a period of two months. Upon receipt of your full payment, the work is usually completed within six weeks although circumstances outside of the Council's control may increase this timescale. However, you must build your driveway (hard standing) before the Council will undertake the construction of the vehicle crossing.

Other permissions needed
In certain circumstances, planning permission may be required before a vehicle crossing application can be considered.

This could be for one of the following reasons:

  • Your property is on a classified road. This is any road that has an A, B or C prefix such as Great Cambridge Road A10; Ware Road A1170; Goffs Lane B156; Station Road, Broxbourne B194 etc. If you are unsure of the classification of your road please visit www.hertsdirect.org/actweb/gazetteer/
  • The land on which you plan to build a driveway is currently designated as amenity land. This is usually the case on the Whitefields or Russells Ride estates.
  • The vehicle construction is being constructed as part of a larger project that requires planning permission.
  • The construction of your proposed driveway or other permitted development will restrict other road users.

The area of non-permeable hardstanding within the property curtilage must not exceed 5m² without the benefit of planning permission. If you proposed driveway is non-permeable and will exceed 5m² you will need to seek planning permission or provide drainage by way of a permeable medium such as flower beds or loose bound material or install a functioning drainage channel. The following links provide details on:

Hardstanding options
Permeable paving
Soakaways
Soakaway crates

Further information can be obtained from the Council’s planning section.