Dropped kerbs/vehicle crossings

It is illegal to drive over grass verges or pavements unless a vehicle crossing is in place. Find out information and how to apply for a vehicle crossing for business or personal use.

Building a dropped kerb

Driving across pavements and verges can cause considerable damage, and underground pipes and cables are also put at risk.

A crossover strengthens the pavement, preventing damage to it and any public utility services that are below the surface. They also prevent damage to your vehicle which occurs from bumping over the kerb.

The Law: Highways Act 1980, section 184

You may need planning permission before applying

Planning permission is not usually required for a crossing, but will be if:

  • the property involved has a frontage directly on a  classified road [30KB]
  • the property involved is a listed building
  • the property involved is anything other than a house for a single family, for example a flat, a maisonette, or commercial or industrial premises
  • the works for a vehicle crossover includes the demolition of a front wall more than one metre in height.  
  • the parking area within the site does not meet minimum requirements for drainage.

Please note: If your property falls into one of the above classifications, contact the planning and transportation team by calling 01895 250230 to obtain planning approval prior to applying for a crossing.

What you need to know before applying

Read the following information before applying for a dropped kerb.

  • Only private light goods or similar vehicles are permitted to use a domestic vehicle crossing. If a delivery, such as a skip, is made into the property and damages the crossing, any repairs are the responsibility of the occupier.
  • A standard crossing typically comprises three dropped kerbs (2.7 metre flat section) with 2 tapers. The minimum width of a standard crossing is 2.4 metres at the back of the public footway.
  • One occupier should act on behalf of both parties, when 2 adjoining properties share a driveway and wish to build a double-width crossing to serve both sites.
  • Only one crossover will be permitted per property and requests for additional crossovers will be rejected on the basis that reasonable access already exists.
  • The standard finish to vehicle crossings is either tarmac or concrete. This will be decided by the council when you apply for an estimate.
  • The applicant must erect a low (less than 1 metre) wall, fence, or permanent landscaping (up to the extent of the proposed crossover) to physically prevent vehicles crossing over an area of footway that has not been strengthened.

Other responsibilities of the applicant

The new vehicle crossing is part of the public highway. ​The council assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the dropped kerb at no cost to the occupier, apart from any damage such as one caused by illegal use of heavy vehicles.

Possible obstructions and costs to building a dropped kerb

  • Obstacles: If possible, the proposed crossing location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. Where this is not feasible, obstacles will be removed or relocated.
  • Utilities: If a utility company is required to relocate a fire hydrant, telegraph pole, etc, the charges for such work will be the responsibility of the applicant. You'll need to provide written approval by the utility company before a crossing can be built.
  • Lampposts: If the location of the proposed crossing requires a lamppost or similar item to be moved, you'll have to pay the full cost of relocation. This is currently estimated at between £1,500 to £2,900.
  • Trees: The removal of street trees for off-street parking will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where a tree is dead, diseased or dangerous. There may be a cost to the applicant.
  • Grass verge: Approval is unlikely to be given where the position of a proposed crossover cuts across a large highway grassed verge or amenity area three metres or more.
  • Parking bays: Where approved applications require the layout of on street parking bays to change, the applicant will be required to pay the full costs of any necessary changes. The cost for this is around £800 on average. There will be additional costs to remove a parking bay or for providing yellow lines or white bar markings, charged in line with the council's fees. There should be no overall net loss of parking or loss of more than one parking space.
  • Alterations: We may need to alter the layout of your vehicle crossover at any time during planned works. Every effort will be made to maintain access to your property and the occupier will be given notice.

Applicants' responsibilities

  • Safety: Applications may be refused or modified on the grounds of safety. The applicant must ensure adequate sight lines are maintained to allow safe access to their property.
  • Gates: Gates fitted across the vehicle entrance to your property should not open outwards across the footpath or carriageway.

Disabled applicants and discounts

If you or a household resident has a substantial and permanent disability (for 12 months or longer) and experience difficulty in accessing your home, you may be eligible for financial assistance towards a vehicle crossing. Please contact Social Care Direct by calling 01895 556633 or emailing socialcaredirect@hillingdon.gov.uk.

If the proposed crossover is within a footway improvement scheme, the crossover can be constructed at a 50% discounted rate. Applicants will be advised accordingly and given the opportunity to delay the installation to coincide with the footway works.

Contact us

If you have a query regarding a vehicle crossover / dropped kerb or the process in building one, please contact us via our enquiry form.

Complete our enquiry form

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2021