Dropped kerbs

Dropped kerbs are installed on the pavement outside a property. This involves the kerb stones being lowered, the pavement strengthened and made into a ramp to allow a vehicle to cross and park on the property.

Planning permission is not usually needed for dropped kerb works, but will be required if:

  • The property involved has the frontage directly on to a classified road
  • The property involved is a listed building
  • The property involved is other than a house for a single family, e.g. flat, maisonette, commercial or industrial premises.

If it appears that your property comes within one of the above classifications and planning permission is required, you should contact our Planning Department.

Ensure that any proposed driveway at the front of the property is constructed of permeable material or that the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. For design and construction details download guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens from the Gov.uk website.

Requesting an estimate for a new, or an amendment to an existing dropped kerb

You can request an estimate by completing our online form. A deposit payment of £52.50 is currently required for a dropped kerb application, which will be deducted from the overall cost of the work should approval be given, and you choose the Council as your provider to construct the dropped kerb. This fee covers the cost of administration and a site assessment by a member of the Highways Team. Should you choose not to go ahead with the work, this deposit will not be refunded. 

Upon receipt of an application and payment of a deposit, a Highways Inspector will visit site to assess, and individually price your application to ensure that all considerations are made and accounted for. The individual pricing represents the current market value for the construction works delivered to the required specification. 

We aim for such assessments to be completed within 4 weeks of receiving your application. However, this may vary due to demand-led nature of the service. If you change your mind, and no longer require an estimate for a dropped kerb, the deposit of £52.50 will not be refunded if a Highways Inspector has already visited your property. 

Making a payment for a new, or an amendment to an existing dropped kerb

If you choose go ahead, you will need to pay upfront. To make a payment you will need to choose one of the following payment methods and quote your unique reference number you will have been given on the quote: TRF/VC/reference number/.

Our payment methods are as follows:

  • Online payments - in product select the option 'paying quotation(s) - payment for specific quotation', using your unique reference number (described above) as the reference.
  • By credit/debit card by phoning 01865 713539. Quote your unique reference number as above.

Once payment has been made please email onetraffordocr@amey.co.uk quoting your unique reference number, address and a copy of your payment receipt for the works to be arranged.

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.

Your questions answered

When can I expect the work to be completed?

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We aim for site assessment visits to be completed within 4 weeks of your initial application. Should your application be approved, and you wish for us to carry out the works, they should be completed within 8 weeks.

We will advise of a commencement date at least 24 hours before the works are due to start. However, delays may still occur at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Can I use another provider instead?

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Yes. If you choose another provider to construct your dropped kerb, the appointed contractor must apply to the Highway Authority (Trafford Council) for a license to do so under Section 50 of the Street Works Act 1991.

The application must also be accompanied by evidence that the contractor has the necessary experience (Street Works Accreditations), proof of public liability insurance (minimum of £5M cover), specification of the installation, statutory undertaker plant plans and details of the appropriate fee set out in the Council’s Schedule of Charges.    

It is an offence for an individual or contractor to carry out any works on the footway without the Highway Authority’s express permission. Trafford council has a duty of care to maintain its highway network and protect it from unauthorized works. Legal action will be taken against anyone found carrying out work without permission.

Can I carry out the work myself?

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No. The works must be carried out by an accredited contractor.

What may prevent me from having a dropped kerb?

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 You may not be able to have a dropped kerb if:

  • Your property is on a bend or at a road junction
  • A tree is at the proposed crossing
  • Your property is close to traffic signals
  • There is a steep slope between your garden and the road
  • There is insufficient garden area at the front of your property
  • There is insufficient visibility

What if a road sign, lamp post or tree etc. is in the way of the dropped kerb?

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If the proposed position of the dropped kerb is obstructed by a road sign, lamp post or tree, etc. the location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. If this is not feasible, a decision will be made as to whether the item should be removed or relocated. The cost for removing/moving an obstruction will be met by the applicant.

What about water pipes, gas pipes and cables under the footpath?

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If these are affected by the proposed dropped kerb, the cost for lowering or moving these will be met by the applicant. 

Is safety considered at the application stage?

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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.

Does my garden need to be a certain length and width?

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Yes, a garden should be at least 5 metres long.

The width of a standard crossing is 2.44 metres at the back of the public footway. This increases to about 4.58 metres at the kerb line. Crossings up to twice that width or two separate crossings may be built where there is sufficient space to leave a continuous length of two metres of unused space at the kerb line. A crossing, which covers the full frontage, may not be permitted.

What type of vehicle can be used to drive over the dropped kerb?

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A domestic vehicle crossing may only be used by a private light goods or similar vehicle. It may not be used by heavy goods vehicles or mechanical equipment. If a delivery, such as a skip, is made into the property, and in doing so the delivery damages the crossing, any repairs will be the responsibility of the occupier.

Can I share access with a neighbour?

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Yes. 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.

When should I build a driveway in my garden?

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Once approval for the dropped kerb has been granted, you can go ahead with building a driveway in your garden.

Where you are intending to use gravel or a similar loose material for your hardstanding, you should consider the problem of some 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 500mm 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.

You should also consider that 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.

Can I remove more of my fence or wall than is required?

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If you remove 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 (i.e. lamp post, telegraph pole, traffic sign etc.) 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.

What if the property is owned by a private or social landlord?

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You will require permission to park a vehicle in your front garden. Your tenancy agreement should explain this. If you are unsure, please contact your landlord

What will the dropped kerb be made of?

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Unless the property is within a conservation area, the standard finish to crossings is either blacktop or concrete. This will be decided by the Highway Authority when you apply for an estimate.

Will I own the dropped kerb?

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No, your dropped kerb will be part of the public highway. When you have a dropped kerb built, you are paying for the right for vehicular access to your property. After construction, Trafford Council will be responsible for maintaining the dropped kerb.

As the Highways Authority, we reserve the right to alter your dropped kerb in future to accommodate dropped kerbs to neighbouring properties or highway refurbishment works. Every effort will be made to maintain access to your property and you will be given adequate notice of such works.

Can I fit gates across the entrance to my driveway?

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Yes, but gates fitted across the entrance to your driveway must in no circumstances, open outwards across the footpath or carriageway in compliance with Section 153 of the Highways Act 1980.

Do I have to pay for a new H bar marking if the existing one is worn and faded?

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H bar markings are white lines which are marked on the road across a dropped kerb. The lines highlight to other road users that they shouldn't block access to off-road parking areas, such as driveways and garages.

There is no obligation to have a H bar repainted if it is worn out. A H bar is an advisory road marking with no legal backing, but it may help towards stopping drivers from blocking a driveway. However, if you choose to have it repainted, you should contact us and pay for this service. We use specialist road paint, so you must not paint a new H bar marking yourself.

If we find you have painted your own H bar, we may remove it and charge you for the work.