If residents wish to drive across the footway to gain access to park on their property, they are required to have a dropped kerb constructed. This is where the footway is reinforced to take the weight of the vehicle and the kerb is dropped to form a ramp.

The London Borough of Bexley only permits the construction of a dropped kerb to be undertaken by its Term Highway Maintenance Contractor.

The Council will be responsible for its future maintenance in perpetuity and no other body or person is authorised to undertake the construction of a dropped kerb unless it forms part of an approved development under licence agreement.

The cost of a dropped kerb

  • the cost of constructing or extending existing dropped kerb is based on the total size of the proposed dropped kerb
  • charges start from £1211 (from 1 April 2020) for a dropped kerb and charges for extensions to existing crossings depend on the area concerned
  • it should be noted that removal of any street furniture (Council or Utility Company owned), or the need to use traffic management to undertake the work, will attract additional costs

The effect on the environment

Hard surfaces increase the risk of flooding and contamination from spillages directly entering drains and polluting local watercourses.

When choosing materials for your driveway, consider using porous or permeable materials such as gravel, crushed stone, bricks or paving that allows water to drain through into the soil below. Installing a soak away will prevent rainwater run-off and avoid overloading the drainage network, reducing the risk of flooding.

The area of hard standing need only accommodate vehicle tracks and paths, leaving the opportunity to incorporate porous materials and greenery creating a softer appearance.

There is a tree where I want a dropped kerb

There is a general presumption against the removal of trees to facilitate the construction of dropped kerbs.

The Council will only approve the construction of a new car crossing that requires the removal of a street tree/s in the following circumstances:

  • immature trees - the  application will be approved if the tree is immature, example planted for less than three years
  • established trees - the application will be approved if the health of the tree is expected to significantly decline within three years
  • a tree will not be removed, regardless of the age or condition of the tree, to facilitate the extension of an existing dropped kerb
  • approval for the extension of a dropped kerb will be refused where the root system of a tree will be extensively damaged through construction work
  • a tree planting pit will not be removed or made unusable to facilitate the extension of a dropped kerb

I am disabled and there is a tree where I want a dropped kerb

The council tries to help people with disabilities and will allow the removal of a street tree/s to provide a dropped kerb.

To ensure the Council acts fairly and consistently, applications for dropped kerbs close to trees must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • applicants must hold a Blue Badge, if there is any doubt about eligibility, checks will be made
  • there must be a suitable and safe location for the crossing, which does not obstruct or impede other vehicles
  • the applicant does not have existing off-street parking
  • the Council has refused the provision of a disabled parking bay
  • the applicant must be the driver of the vehicle kept at the applicants address

Where the applicant is a passenger, a crossing will be provided if:

  • it is impractical or unsafe for the driver to pick up or set down the passenger by the side of the carriageway, or
  • the driver cannot park on the street within 50 metres of the passenger's property, or
  • they are a registered disabled child, checks may be made

How long will it take the dropped kerb to be built

Once the application is received, it normally takes up to 14 weeks before construction takes place, providing any wall/fence/hedge has been removed where necessary, every effort is made to undertake the work as quickly as possible.

If you have any street furniture outside your property that requires moving/removal, this may delay the process further.

Planning permission

If you live in a classified road, a full list of roads can be found in the following document Classified roads (PDF, 56KB), it is likely that planning permission will be needed before a dropped kerb can be constructed.

You may also need planning permission if you live in a flat, maisonette, conservation area or if structural work is required to your property to accommodate a vehicle. To find out if you need planning permission email developmentcontrol@bexley.gov.uk for guidance.

Arranging an estimate

If you are interested in having a dropped kerb constructed outside your property, you need to put two marks at the back of the pavement where it meets your property boundary, indicating the location and the width you require.

Alternatively, if you wish to extend your existing dropped kerb, place a mark indicating which side requires extending and by how much:

Is my garden big enough to park vehicles on

It is necessary to check the size of the frontage of your property to ensure that a vehicle can be parked without overhanging the pavement.

It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 for any part of a vehicle to do so and it is subject to a fine.

A hard standing of a minimum size of 2.4 metres wide and 4.8 metres deep must be situated within the property boundaries. If the hard standing requirement is not met, it may be possible to allow a vehicle to park parallel within the property boundaries, the hard standing must be a minimum of 4.8 metres wide and 3 metres deep.

There is a lamp column where I want a dropped kerb

It may be possible to relocate the lamp column, however, there is a cost involved with this.

Make your application and mark the footway where you wish to have your crossover constructed or extended. The Technician will inspect the site to ensure all criteria are met and will arrange for the Street Lighting team to assess and if practicably possible, provide an estimate for the cost of relocating the column. The cost of this work will be incorporated into the vehicle crossing estimate.

There is a controlled parking zone (CPZ) parking bay outside my property

The Technician will inspect the site to ensure all criteria is met to enable a crossing to be constructed/extended. If there is a parking bay within the controlled parking zone which would require removal/adjustment to accommodate the crossing, these bays are covered by a Traffic Management Order (TMO). There is a statutory process that has to be followed to make changes to the TMO. There is a non-refundable fee of £1000 towards the cost of changes to the TMO. However, should objections be received to the proposed changes, these are reported to the relevant Cabinet Member. In the event of an objection being upheld then the proposed changes to the bay cannot go ahead and the request for the vehicle crossing cannot be granted.

There is a utility cover/equipment where I want a dropped kerb

If all criteria are met to enable a crossing to be constructed/extended but there is utility equipment (manhole, cabinet etc.) within the area, a request will be made for the relevant statutory board to inspect the site and their apparatus and advise if any adjustment is required to their equipment and at what cost.

In the case of Virgin Media, they require a non-refundable inspection fee of £240 to be paid before they will inspect the site and advise of any additional charges. The application and payment for this inspection can be made through London Borough of Bexley.

If there is any cost involved with the adjustment of the equipment this will be shown within the vehicle crossing estimate.