Our reader’s neighbour wants to extend a dropped kerb. Their proposal is for the new lower kerb to go in front of the next door house’s garden. The neighbour wouldn’t be able to access their property from the extension because of a lamp post. But our reader believes the neighbour wants to use the extended dropped kerb to park ‘legally’ on the footpath.
What is the law around dropped kerbs?
Dropped kerbs are a legal requirement if drivers want to cross a pavement/footpath with a car to access their drive.
Our reader is concerned that their neighbour wants to park on the pavement. But parking along a dropped kerb on the pavement is illegal. This is because it blocks the footpath for wheelchair users, pedestrians and people with pushchairs. They are then forced them to take to the road which is clearly unsafe.
This is covered by rule 243 of the Highway Code. The rule states you do NOT stop “where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles or in front of an entrance to a property.”
Parking in front of a driveway dropped kerb could result in a £90 penalty charge notice. This might be issued either by the local authority or in extreme cases, the police.
Is it a case of just building it?
No. The neighbour will need to apply to their local authority for permission for a dropped kerb. In some cases, they might need planning permission.
There is a fair amount of paperwork for the application and they will have to provide proper drawings based on accurate measurements. In addition they need to provide measurements of the driveway. These will have to prove that no car parked on it is going to overhang the pavement.
Proximity to obstructions such as trees, road signs, parking bays or street lights will be a factor too.
They need to have a proper contractor with the right public liability insurance to do the work. And they’ll need the contractor’s details for the form.
Once they’ve paid the fee, the council will come to do a site assessment. After that they’ll either approve or decline whether the work can start.
What about this case?
We don’t think our reader has anything to worry about. We think it’s unlikely that the neighbour will get the permission to extend the dropped kerb when they don’t seem to have a valid reason for putting the extension in place.
In addition, if their purpose is so they can park on the pavement, there are a couple of problems. First, they’ll be blocking the pavement and therefore could be fined by the local authority. Second, as we’ve just said, the council is unlikely to give them permission for something that is clearly breaking the law.
The neighbour might argue that it’s their own dropped kerb and they should be able to park there but the authorities would argue that a fire engine might need access or another kind of emergency vehicle might need the space to turn around in.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.