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Types of dropped kerbs and what you need to do to get one.

There are two types of dropped kerbs:

  • dropped kerbs for vehicles
  • pedestrian dropped kerbs

Dropped kerbs for vehicles

What they are

Dropped kerbs for vehicles allow vehicles to cross the public pavement to get to a private driveway.

How to get a vehicular dropped kerb

Bristol City Council doesn't install vehicular dropped kerbs. 

You'll need to:

  • check if you need planning permission
  • make sure your driveway meets the dropped kerb standards
  • contact a contractor to install it for you

Planning permission

You must check if you need planning permission before the dropped kerb is installed.

You'll need planning permission if:

  • your property is divided into flats
  • your property is in a conservation area and you'd need to remove a gate pillar, wall or fence that's over one metre high
  • you need structural work to make the parking area
  • the dropped kerb is going to be installed on an A, B or C class road (a classified street).

Use our street checker Go to https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ff25dd2b37c249428d977325d354cd8e (opens new window) to see if your street is classified.

Driveway standards for a dropped kerb

You can only have a dropped kerb if your driveway meets the following criteria.

Driveway size: where planning permission is not required

Option 1: End on, drive straight in,  parking:

  • at least 4.8 metres long from the pavement edge that's closest to the driveway to the edge of your building
  • 2.4 metres wide for a single space or 4.8 metres wide for a double space


Option 2: Parking parallel to the footway:

  • at least 3 metres long from the pavement edge that's closest to the driveway to the edge of your building
  • 6 metres wide

Driveway size: where planning permission is required

Each planning application is assessed on its own merits so the measurements below are intended as a guide only.

Contact development.management@bristol.gov.uk if you've any queries regarding size or layouts for a dropped kerb on a classified street.

End on, drive straight in, parking:

  • at least 5.3 metres long from the pavement edge that's closest to the driveway to the edge of your building, 4.8m if the driveway does not abut against a building
  • 3 metres wide

There is generally no allowable option for vehicles to park parallel to the kerb on classified streets.

Our pdf driveway size diagram (69 KB) pdf (69 KB)  provides a visual reference to the minimum size requirements for classified streets.

Why we may reject your planning application

We can refuse permission for a dropped kerb if it causes a road safety risk, such as:

  • not enough visibility of oncoming traffic
  • your property is on a bend, a road junction or there's a steep slope between your property and the road
  • your property is close to traffic lights
  • there's not enough space for your vehicle 
  • a street lamp or street furniture such as postboxes, road signs and benches is blocking access

Construction materials and design

The driveway must be made from either: porous asphalt, porous concrete blocks, concrete or clay block permeable paving laid on a sub-base of materials such as 4/20 or Type 3 Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permeable-surfacing-of-front-gardens-guidance (opens new window).

The driveway must not have loose gravel surfacing.

In most cases the Bristol City Council Standard Detail must be followed when installing a vehicle crossover and dropped kerb. Refer to the following documents for specific design and construction details: 


The driveway must have suitable drainage where it meets the road boundary.

This should be across the boundary of the driveway to to make sure surface water drains away before it reaches the road.  

See our pdf driveway drainage diagram (81 KB) .


You'll need to hire a contractor and they must:

  • have public liability insurance of a minimum of £5 million 
  • complete the work to our vehicle crossover specifications
  • have appropriate NPORS or SWQR qualifications under the New Roads and Street Works Act (1991)
  • have a current document vehicle crossover licence (44 KB)  for the work  

Further guidance and how to apply

You should read the full pdf Guidance and Process document (1.29 MB)  which gives further information about applying for a vehicle crossover and dropped kerb.

To apply for a vehicle crossover and dropped kerb, you should complete the relevant application form on the highway excavation licence page located on our excavation licence page

If a vehicle crossover and dropped kerb have been installed without permission we'll consider taking enforcement action.

If we do take action then you'll need to apply for a retrospective licence for the dropped kerb, including retrospective planning permission Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ensuring-effective-enforcement#Retrospective-planning-application (opens new window), if applicable, or restore the kerb to the way it was before.

Pedestrian dropped kerbs

What they are

A dropped pedestrian crossing is a lowered kerb or pavement used to allow pedestrians to cross the road more easily, especially people:

  • using wheelchairs or mobility scooters
  • who are elderly 
  • with prams or pushchairs

Pedestrian dropped kerbs are usually on main roads leading to schools, supermarkets or hospitals where they are most needed. 

Request a pedestrian dropped kerb

You can tell us if you think a street needs a pedestrian dropped kerb using our Street Improvements tool.

There's no specific funding to install new dropped kerbs right now but we want to know where they're needed should the situation change. It will influence the six area committees who make decisions on how local funds are spent.