Application guidance notes - Vehicle dropped crossing (S184)


When is a vehicle crossing needed?

Whenever it is desired to have vehicular access or egress across a publicly maintained footway or verge in order to park it on private property (e.g. a driveway by a house).

It is essential that the structure of the highway is altered to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Why do I have to do this?

Footways and verges are normally only built to a standard to cater for pedestrian use and therefore they need to be strengthened to support the weight of a vehicle driving over them.

The dropped kerbs are necessary to provide a suitable gradient between the carriageway and footway and to prevent damage through lateral point loading on the kerbs.

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

Yes, under Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980

What permissions do I need?

Firstly, if you live in a conservation area or on a classified road, you are advised to check if planning permission is required from your local Borough or District Council. You may also need planning permission if the surface water run-off from your proposed driveway is not contained within the curtilage of your property.

Secondly, you will need permission from East Sussex Highways, as the local Highway Authority, in the form of a licence. There is no automatic right to a licence and we will assess every vehicle crossing application from a safety and suitability viewpoint. We reserve the right to refuse permission where a vehicle crossing is either unsafe or unsuitable.

If you are renting the property, you must obtain the consent of your landlord to proceed.

If you do not own the land between your property and the highway then you will need permission from the landowner.

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

You will need enough space to park a vehicle wholly within your property perpendicular (at right angles) to the road. A minimum area of 5 metres x 2.5 metres is required. Adequate space must remain for any doors to the house.

How much does a vehicle crossing cost?

This depends on the size of the crossing, whether utilities’ services or street furniture is affected and which contractor you use. You will need to obtain quotations before choosing a contractor for the works. You will be responsible for paying for the works directly to the contractor. East Sussex Highways charge a fee for providing and overseeing the licence process. Please see the current ESH fee structure.

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

Yes. It will be the duty of the contractor to have details of any statutory undertakers’ and utilities’ plans located in the vicinity of the proposed works. They are required to keep this information onsite and available for inspection throughout the works. In the unlikely event that any apparatus needs to be altered to accommodate the vehicle crossing, you will be responsible for these extra costs.

Who can carry out the works?

Only contractors from the approved list can be used.

Can I use my own contractor?

No, a contractor from the approved list must be used.

How will I know if the work is satisfactory?

Once the work is completed to our satisfaction, we will issue a Completion Certificate. The contractor will then be responsible for maintaining his works for a period of 12 months. Provided that the works remain free of any defects, East Sussex Highways will assume responsibility at the end of this period.

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

Certain conditions may apply when a tree is close to the proposed crossing. Trees will generally not be removed to accommodate the installation of a vehicle crossing. Each site will need to be assessed individually by a qualified officer who will advise if construction can proceed without affecting the health and stability of the tree.

In some instances, applicants may have to fund additional works such as exposing the roots in order that the officer can make a full assessment of the site. If the tree is too close or its health and stability cannot be protected applications may be refused on these grounds.

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

Normally, street furniture can be relocated to suit at the applicant’s expense, subject to consulting with neighbouring properties who may be affected.

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

Applications for two vehicle crossings to a single property, or a second access point where one already exists, will not normally be approved for domestic dwellings unless there is strong evidence that it will add significantly to highway safety.

I drive a goods vehicle. Will the crossing be strong enough?

If the crossing will be used for heavier vehicles (i.e. over 3.5 tonnes), you will need an enhanced crossing and you must note this on the application form. We will advise you regarding the dimensions and construction detail required.