Vehicle crossings (dropped kerb)

Main things for consideration before you apply

No part of a vehicle parked within your property may overhang onto or over the highway (footway or verge).

You must have at least 4.8m between the back of the footway or property boundary (the face of any wall, fence or hedge) and the front of your building. This may include a garage, however the vehicle MUST be parked in the garage when at the property if there is insufficient space to park outside of the garage.

It is essential that applicants carefully consider if there is sufficient distance to ensure adequate means of escape from the building. For example, do you have sufficient space to exit the property safely with the vehicle parked in front in the event of an emergency. You may wish to seek advice from Lancashire Fire and Rescue service.

The parking space must be at an alignment in relation to the highway to allow a vehicle to enter and exit the property in one movement. There must be no adjusting movements of a vehicle made on the highway when entering or exiting the property.

For a single width access serving no more than one dwelling a minimum width of 2.4m is required through the entire parking bay. This dimension is the absolute minimum and cannot be reduced. There must also be no obstructions in this area (for example a bay window or tree).

If the location of the proposed vehicle crossing is closer than 10m to a road junction, roundabout, or signalised junction on a major A or B road this could significantly increase the risk for highway users and this will be considered as part of the application process assessment.

Where planning permission exists for a vehicle crossing within 10m to a road junction, signalised junction or roundabout on an A or B road, the application is unlikely to be refused on this basis.

As a rule, proximity to junctions on lower class or unclassified roads such as residential streets with 30mph speed limits or below, is unlikely to result in a refusal unless a specific hazard has been identified as part of the assessment.

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?

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 have sufficient visibility.

As a rule, the following visibility is required when a driver is set back 2m from the edge of the carriageway they are joining:

Speed Limit 60mph 50mph 40mph 40mph 30mph 20mph
Road type A or B A or B A or B road Non–residential street Residential street A or B local access / residential Residential road
Visibility in both directions 201m 158m 102m 65m 43m 25m

Planning permission is not required if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.

The Local Planning Authority is advised to always encourage permeable driveways as a 'first option' to avoid the need for planning permission but this also removes the need to provide additional drainage within your driveway to prevent surface water running onto the highway.

Please note that if you choose to use a loose material driveway such as gravel, you will need to ensure that it does not get transferred onto the footway or carriageway where it may be a danger to highway users. This may be achieved through edgings or a rigid strip between the footway and the driveway.

As of 1 October 2008, householders are not permitted to install hard surfacing in front gardens exceeding 5m² without making provision to ensure permeability, otherwise planning permission is required.

Surface water run off generated from the impermeable front driveway must be managed within the property boundary either by soaking into the ground (soakaway) or some form of rainwater harvesting or storage.

If there is a streetlight or road sign outside your house or where you want the crossing, please contact us direct to discuss this in detail at:

Vehicle Crossing Team
Tel: 01772 534222

As a rule, any streetlight within 2m of a proposed crossing may have to be moved.

Street lighting columns, associated street furniture and road signs that are required to be moved will need to be moved by LCC in advance of the vehicle crossing construction.  If your application requires street furniture to be moved, you will be required to pay the cost of moving this apparatus once your application has been approved. A request to pay this fee will be included in your application approval.

A bespoke quotation will be provided but can typically be between £500 to £3000 in cost.

The county council will not remove healthy trees to accommodate a vehicle crossing.  Sufficient clearance should be allowed to ensure that construction does not damage the tree roots or affect the long-term health of the tree.  Residents are advised that, as a rule, a vehicle crossing facility should be approximately 2.5m from the tree trunk.

If your application requires the moving of street furniture in the ownership of another organisation, such as a telecommunication cabinet, you must arrange this directly with the utility company. There should be information on the furniture to identify who owns it. Any approved application may be conditional on the moving of the street furniture in advance of the crossing construction. Applicants are usually required to pay for the relocation of utilities to accommodate a vehicle crossing and these costs can be considerable.

We request that the applicant provides evidence that they have consulted with any neighbours that may be affected by the re-location of street furniture nearer to their property.

Gates or any other structure on your land across the vehicle entrance to your property or land may under no circumstances open outwards onto any highway across a verge, footway or carriageway (Highways Act 1980 – section 153).

Please contact us to seek advice from LCC Highways in advance of making an application:

Vehicle Crossing Team
Tel: 01772 534222

When considering applications for vehicle crossings we need to be mindful of the effect that accessing and egressing premises has of the safe passage of vehicular traffic in the highway.  Local precedence is not a factor in considering whether an application should be granted or refused.

Many existing vehicle crossings were approved when traffic conditions were significantly different than today, and policies and assessment criteria may have change to reflect this.  The circumstances of each application are considered on its own merits and therefore applicants are advised to use the pre-application checklist at the end of this guidance. 

In most instances applications for vehicle crossings are successful, however if your proposed vehicle crossing puts other road users at risk or seriously interferes with the free flow of traffic on a busy road, it may be turned down. Notwithstanding the guidelines set out in this document, in certain circumstances it will be necessary for the Council, as Highway Authority, to refuse to allow the construction of a vehicle crossing on your premises. In these circumstances, you will be informed in writing of the reason why permission has been refused.

We may refuse your application for a vehicular crossing if:

  • your property is on a bend or at a road junction,
  • your property is close to traffic signals,
  • a highway tree needs removing to install the crossing point,
  • there is a steep slope between your property and the road,
  • your property is within the zig-zag markings of a pelican or other controlled pedestrian crossing,
  • your property is immediately adjacent to a pedestrian refuge or traffic island which would prevent a vehicle turning in excess of 90 degrees in a single movement,
  • your property is close to a bus stop where use of a crossing could conflict with passengers waiting or make it difficult for disabled passengers to board or alight a bus,
  • Your application will require changes to existing parking bays or restrictions
  • there is inadequate forward visibility for other drivers, pedestrians and users of the proposed access, given the speed of traffic using the road
  • there is less than 4.8 metres clearance between the property boundary and the nearest part of the building

If you are not the freehold owner of the property, you will need to obtain the permission of the owner for the construction to be undertaken before Lancashire County Council will assess your application. You must include a copy of the written permission with your application. Failure to do so may significantly delay your application.

Any land between your land and the highway, may require you to obtain a Legal Land Easement from the owner of said land if the dropped kerb crosses that land.  Land Title, Rights of Way or Ownership issues may also have to be considered.  If in any doubt about land ownership matters, please consult your solicitor to clarify the above.  The county council will not be held responsible in full or part for any land or ownership issues or claims or demands in respect of trespass or property contraventions on land off highway extent before or after installation.  The occupier takes full responsibility for the instruction given to install an approved crossing point.

In determining the application, the county council may:

  • Approve the application as submitted
  • Approve the application with certain conditions
  • Propose alternative arrangements
  • Refuse the application

The applicant will be solely responsible for ensuring that there are no restrictive covenants preventing access over land between the boundary of the property and the carriageway edge.

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