Dropped Kerb Vehicle Access

Overview

Owners of a property who want to regularly drive over a footpath or verge with a vehicle must apply to have a properly constructed crossing at their own expense. A vehicle crossing usually requires the kerb-line to be lowered.

Please read this page carefully before applying as incorrect submissions may result in your application being rejected and an admin fee will be charged for processing it.

The Process

Determining Your Application

Once your Application Form has been received and the fee has been paid, East Sussex Highways will begin to carry out our assessment. Due to the high number of applications we receive, it can take up to 8 weeks to determine your application. You will receive a decision by email or post on or before the determination date already advised.

Application Approval

If your application is successful, we will issue you with a Vehicle Crossing Licence and retain the full application fee. The Licence is valid for 6 months and will detail our standard conditions and also any site-specific conditions for your contractor to note.

We will also supply you with a set of plans (stat plans) detailing the statutory undertakers’ and utilities’ apparatus in the vicinity. Your contractor will need these plans to assess whether or not the apparatus is affected by the works. In the unlikely event that the apparatus is affected then the cost of alterations or protection will be your sole responsibility.

Application Rejection

In most instances applications are successful, but if your application is rejected, we will provide a statement of reasons for our decision along with a partial refund of 64% of the application fee. The refund will be made within 14 days of the determination date, and East Sussex Highways will contact to make the refund.

Reasons for refusal may include planning grounds, land ownership objections, local parking implications, safety implications such as poor sight lines at the proposed access point or the proposed access is in close proximity to a road hump, road safety feature etc.

Our decision as to whether the application is approved or refused is final and appeals will not be considered.

Choose a contractor

Once you have received your Vehicle Crossing Licence, it is time to choose and appoint your contractor. You must use a Buy With Confidence approved contractor. These contractors are registered with our Trading Standards ‘Buy With Confidence’ (BWC) scheme and as such have been vetted to deliver a good quality, reliable and professional service. Contractors who are not registered are welcome to apply to do so and we will also accept contractors who are registered outside of East Sussex County Council’s jurisdiction. All BWC registered contractors are accredited in accordance with the New Roads & Street Works Act 1991 and hold the necessary £10 million Public Liability Insurance.

Contact details for approved third party contractors can be found below by clicking on their respective links:


AS PER THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF OUR LICENCE, THE USE OF AN UNAUTHORISED CONTRACTOR WILL RESULT IN YOUR VEHICLE CROSSOVER BEING DEEMED ILLEGAL AND NO COMPLETION CERTIFICATE WILL BE ISSUED.

Before starting the Works

Please be aware that even if a licence has been issued, the vehicle crossing works will not be permitted to commence until your driveway/hard-standing has been constructed.

Once you have appointed your contractor, it then becomes his responsibility to seek our consent to start work. He will notify us of his proposed start date and duration of works using our standard ‘N’ notice.

A minimum of 7 day’s notice is usually required, unless multi phase traffic control is needed which requires 21 days’ notice.

The notice period allows us time to check that there is no conflict with other works that may be planned on the highway network at that time.

During the Works

East Sussex Highways will ensure that the works are carried out to the correct standards both in terms of workmanship and health and safety requirements. The signing and guarding of the works to the correct standards will be the responsibility of the Contractor.

Completion of the Works

When the works are completed the contractor will confirm this to us by submitting a completion notice. If we are satisfied, we will issue you a Completion Certificate, which confirms that the vehicle crossing has been constructed correctly and is fit for proper use. We recommend that you keep a copy of this certificate as you may need to provide evidence of it to any potential buyers of your property in the future.

Paying your Contractor

It is your sole responsibility to pay the contractor for the works undertaken. East Sussex Highways will not become involved in any financial arrangements made between you.

Adoption of the Works

The contractor is responsible for a 12-month maintenance period of the works, which starts on the issue of the Completion Certificate, provided that the works are kept defect free, East Sussex Highways will automatically assume responsibility at the end of this period.

Our Criteria for Assessing Applications

Planning Consent

Depending on the location and construction methods used, planning consent may need to be obtained in order to construct a vehicle crossing and driveway.

To determine whether or not you need planning consent, please refer to the 3 questions below.

  1. Does your proposed vehicle access connect onto a classified road (A,B or C class)?
  2. Is your property located within a conservation area?
  3. Will any surface water run-off from your new driveway NOT be retained within the curtilage of your property?

If you can answer NO to all three questions, planning permission should not be required.

Please note that it is no longer permitted development to lay impermeable or non-porous paving in excess of 5 square metres, for a driveway for example. Permeable construction or other source control measures are therefore recommended to avoid the need for planning consent.

If you are in any doubt, you are advised to check if you need planning consent with your local planning authority (the District or Borough Council). If you do need planning consent, please do not apply for a vehicle crossing until planning consent has been granted.

Other Consents

If the proposed vehicle crossing will traverse land not owned by the applicant, the permission of the landowner(s) will need to be obtained before submitting your application.

Controlled Parking Bays

If there is a controlled bay outside your property we are unable to grant a licence to install an access until the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) has been amended. The decriminalisation of parking requires Traffic Regulation Orders being put in place, these are legal orders which were consulted on and approved prior to being implemented.

If you have a formalised parking bay outside your property we will assess your application and inform you of the outcome of our assessment, if the application is approved in principal we will contact East Sussex County Council who will raise a request on your behalf to amend to the TRO outside your property. This will involve us sending your details and the details of the approved area to the Parking Team, who will use this information to raise the request and notify you of their decision once the review has taken place. If you do not wish us to submit your details as described then please contact us on 0345 60 80 193.

All requests submitted are collated and considered as part of a parking review which takes place every 12-14 months. Details of this process can be found here.

For your information, the TRO review process also involves consultation on the change to restrictions and if there are objections these will need to be resolved. Any that cannot be resolved, are taken to Planning Committee for a decision. If there is an objection to the change of the restrictions to allow for the access that cannot be resolved, and a decision is made by Committee to uphold the objection then restrictions will not be changed, and the bay will remain as it was.

If the TRO amendment is approved please notify us as soon as possible so we can grant and issue your licence, if you do not inform us within a reasonable time frame, the bay may be reinstated as part of a subsequent review.

Surface Water Drainage

Provision must be made within the boundary of the property to adequately drain newly hardened up areas. i.e. the driveway and hard standings. Surface water must not be allowed to flow onto the public highway and should be controlled at source within your property.

Distance from road junctions

If the location of the proposed crossing is on a major road and closer than 15m to a road junction it would create a serious hazard and the application will be refused.

If the property is situated directly on the junction of two roads, it will generally be safer to situate the access on the minor, side road. Accordingly, you may be asked to amend your proposals to comply with this requirement.


Is there enough space on your property?

No part of a vehicle parked within your property may project onto or over the highway. The vehicle access crossing may not be used as a parking area and no part of it is exempted for the purpose of footway parking. To comply, the parking space must be:

  • at least 5 m long between the back of the pavement or property boundary (the face of any wall, fence or hedge for example) and the front of your building.
  • Or at least 6m long where the parking area is in front of a garage or door where adequate means of escape needs to be provide, like a front/back door, escape window etc. If you have any questions on the adequate means of escape, please contact your local East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Safety Officer.


The parking space must be at a right angle to the highway with the vehicle able to enter and exit the property in one movement. There must also be no adjusting movements of a vehicle made on the highway when entering or exiting the property.

Approval to construct and use a vehicle crossing is only given to allow vehicles to cross from highway to private property and back, and for those vehicles to be parked wholly off the highway and not overhanging the highway at all (highway includes carriageway, footway and verge). Householders will be notified if a breach of this condition occurs and if it continues East Sussex Highways reserve the right to remove the vehicle access with immediate effect by reinstating the highway to its original state and recharging costs of any related works to the householder as appropriate.

The policy of the Highway Authority in relation to minimum depths has changed over time. This may mean that properties in your road have a vehicle access crossing that does not comply with the above criteria and appears in all respects to be very similar to your own proposals. Nevertheless, you will need to comply with the standards set out above and the fact that someone else may have a shorter parking space will not be taken into account when assessing your proposals.

Is the access wide enough?

For a single width access serving no more than one dwelling:

  • A minimum width of 2.5m is required through the entire parking bay.
  • This dimension is the absolute minimum and cannot be reduced.
  • There must be no obstructions in this area (e.g. a bay window or a tree).


Visibility requirements

Will you be able to see pedestrians and vehicles clearly enough to drive out of the driveway without causing danger to yourself or other road users?

Probably the most important contribution to road safety is the provision of adequate visibility. Adequate visibility enables road users to see a potential hazard in time to slow down or stop comfortably before reaching it.

The application will be refused if the crossing does not meet visibility requirements set within published industry standards. Greater visibility may be required on faster, busier roads.

Sight lines are defined by the visibility setback (the X dimension) and the forward visibility required enabling a vehicle to stop safely (the Y dimension). Where it is in the applicant’s control, the following minimum requirements should be satisfied:

Carriageway Visibility

X-dimension: 2.0m from the kerb line ,Y-dimension: based upon the following table:

Speed Limit Road Classification Y Dimension
40mph "A" Road 120m
30mph "A" or "B" Road 90m
30mph Local Access Road 60m
30mph Local Access road with Traffic Calming 43m
20mph 20mph Zone 33m

Together, the x and y-dimensions define an area in which there should be unobstructed visibility between a height of 1.0m and 2.0m above carriageway level. Street furniture and parked cars will often lie within the visibility splay and the impact of such obstacles will be assessed. In general though, obstacles that are not large enough to fully obscure a whole vehicle or pedestrian will be acceptable.

The following diagram may assist when considering carriageway visibility:


Footway Visibility

X-dimension 2.0m from back of footway, Y-dimension 2.0m


Within the visibility splay, there should be no obstruction to visibility between heights of 0.85m and 2.0m above footway level. If the footway is likely to be used by small children, the height should be reduced to 0.6m. Where all or part of the splay lies across land outside of the applicant's control, a relaxation to this requirement may be considered, taking into account the amount of pedestrian activity along the footway and the width of the footway.

Lamp columns and street furniture

All street furniture, lamp columns and utility plant needs to be situated at least 1.5m from the location of the top of the ramped kerb of the proposed crossover. Any street furniture, lamp columns and utility plant within 1.5m must be relocated at the expense of the applicant.


Trees and Root Protection Calculation

Applications requiring the removal of a highway tree are likely to be refused. To avoid damage to the tree roots or rooting environment, a minimum root protection area (RPA) needs to be left undisturbed around each tree.

The following calculation will provide the radius of the RPA which should be used as the minimum distance between a tree and any construction. In certain cases, it may be possible to reduce the distance based on advice from an arborculturist.

RPA radius (m) = Stem diameter (mm) measured @ 1.5m above ground level x 0.012


Example Sketch of a proposed Vehicle Crossing location

Please ensure that accurate measurements are shown on the sketch plan. A standard vehicle crossing will normally be as shown here – 4 dropped kerbs and a ramped kerb either side (6 kerbs, measuring 5.4m total). If you require something different please say what and why. The example below shows 27 This Street – Proposed Vehicle Crossing to start 1m in from boundary 27/29 at rear of footway.


Shared access

Where the occupiers of two adjacent 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. A separate fee licence is required for each dwelling proposed or affected.

Gates

If gates are to be fitted across the vehicle entrance to your property they must not open outwards across the highway. Additionally, on busy roads they must be set back at least 5m from the edge of the carriageway to allow the driver to park clear of the highway whilst opening the gates. Remember, sufficient space must exist within the site for the gates to close.


Apply Online

Please login or register for an account before applying for a licence online. Once you have signed in, you can apply online for a vehicle crossing here.

If the vehicle crossover you are applying for serves more than one property, or is to serve a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, please contact us on 0345 60 80 193 and ask to be transferred to the Licencing and Enforcement Team to discuss your application before progressing with your application online.

FAQs

When is a vehicle crossing needed?

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Why do I have to have this?

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Do you have any legal powers to insist on a vehicle crossover?

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What permissions do I need?

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Do I have enough space within the boundary of my property to park a vehicle?

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How much do vehicle crossings cost?

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Am I responsible for any pipes and cables buried underground affected by the works?

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Who can carry out the work?

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Can I use my own contractor?

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How will I know if the work is satisfactory?

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What if there is a tree near the proposed vehicle crossing?

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What if there is street furniture in the way of the proposed crossing?

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Can I have two crossings to allow in/out access?

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I drive a Goods Vehicle. Will be crossing be strong enough?

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I have sent in my application, what happens next?

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