Pavements and kerbs

Report a pavement or kerb problem online and see how to apply for a dropped kerb.

Do it online

Report a pavement or kerb issue

If you prefer, you can tell us about a pavement or kerb issue anonymously, but you will miss out on the benefits of having an account such as getting progress updates.

Not all roads are our responsibility

Motorways and trunk roads such as the A1, A1(M), M62, A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (north of Thirsk) must be reported to National Highways.

In an emergency

If it is an emergency and poses a safety risk, contact us. Out of office hours, call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If there is a danger to life, call 999.


As part of managing the highway network, we maintain and inspect about 8,000km of footways, or pavements. Because of our limited budget and high demand, we have to prioritise the work we do according to the risk posed.

Regular inspections and maintenance enables us to catch faults quickly before they cause major cost or inconvenience. During inspection, any defects found are recorded and assessed for risk. Remedial action is then arranged. Such defects include anything from overhanging trees, potholes and misaligned kerbs to illegal obstructions and drainage problems.

Emergency defects are made safe or repaired within 24 hours. All other defects are dealt with within different timeframes, depending on priority. This can be anywhere from 28 days to six months.

Obstructions on the pavement, and advertising boards

It is an offence to obstruct free passage along the pavement without permission.

Obstructions of the pavement come in many forms, including:

  • overhanging trees and vegetation
  • street cafés, which are only permitted under licence issued by the county council
  • advertising boards
  • walls, gates, fences and hedges
  • goods displayed outside shops beyond any private forecourt
  • projections onto the pavement for example, shop canopies beyond acceptable dimensions
  • illegal parking on the pavement

We take a tolerant approach to advertising 'A' boards as we are supportive of local businesses and we realise the importance of traders being able to promote goods and services. However, we ask that businesses consider pedestrians when deciding what to place on the footway, as obstructions can cause difficulties for many people, including those with visual impairments, wheelchair users and families with pushchairs.

  • children's rides may not be placed near to where pedestrians wait on the pavement, at islands or traffic lights
  • advertising boards may not be placed adjacent to metal guardrails or bollards
  • traders should avoid creating a 'tunnel' or chicane by placing numerous objects in a staggered pattern

We will remove dangerous obstructions as soon as possible, however, in a county the size of North Yorkshire obstructions can occur without our knowledge. Please report any problems to us as soon as possible.


Kerbs form the edge between a pavement and the road. They are of greatest benefit in built-up areas. They fulfil a variety of roles, including:

  • providing a physical check to prevent vehicles leaving the carriageway
  • protecting the carriageway edge to prevent damage and loss of structural integrity
  • allowing low-floor buses to stop level with the kerb to allow easy access for those with mobility problems or pushchairs
  • forming a channel along which surface water can be drained
  • acting as a barrier between road traffic and pedestrians or verges

Dropped crossings and dropped kerbs

  • a dropped pedestrian crossing is an area of lowered kerb or pavement used to allow pedestrians to cross the road, usually on high usage footways like routes to schools, shopping centres, and hospitals where they benefit the most users
  • a dropped kerb is used to give a vehicle access to a driveway or parking area on private property across the highway verge or footway
Building a dropped kerb for a private driveway

Before you submit an application, it is your responsibility to speak to the council about planning permission.

It is likely that you will need planning permission if the vehicular crossing:

  • accesses an A, B or C classified road (access our online maps to see this information)
  • passes over non-highways land, for example, land which is registered as village green or common land
  • is for a property other than a house for a single family, for example, housing, commercial or industrial development
  • works are being done inside the site

Planning permission is not usually required if the access is onto an unclassified road (access our online maps to see this information) but might still be needed if the access forms part of more extensive works.

How do I get permission to build a dropped kerb?

Before constructing a dropped kerb crossing, you must have consent from us. You may also need planning permission from the national park authority if your property is within a national park.

To request an extension to an existing crossing, a new crossing at your home or at an industrial or employment area, you can apply online.

Once the online form has checked you are eligible, you will need to create an account, or sign in to an existing account, to process your application and pay online. Applying online is quick and easy and means you can upload your evidence and make payment all in one place.   

It costs £99 to apply for a dropped kerb with planning permission and £155 without planning permission.

Apply for a dropped kerb

If you are not able to use our online form, you can contact us and we will send you a paper application form to complete and return in the post.

Who can construct my crossing?

You must use a contractor who has been approved by us. We check that approved contractors have adequate insurance and have undertaken suitable training, and then supervise all works. It is an offence to carry out these works yourself or to use an unapproved contractor.

We will send you a list of approved contractors if permission is given for the construction of a vehicular crossing or dropped kerb.

What type of surfacing can I use on my property and do I need planning permission?

There are lots of different types that can be used. You may need planning permission because the drainage systems in our towns and villages have only got a limited capacity, and many have already reached their limits. After the floods in 2007, recommendations were made that householders should no longer be allowed to resurface their front gardens without gaining permission. This came into effect in 2008.

The table below gives a summary of when permission is needed, and where it isn't.

Change proposed

Planning permission required

Highway authority permission required

Surfacing less than five square metres


Permission may be required if a loose material such as gravel is proposed within 1.0m of the road or pavement, or if the access to your property is on a classified road

Surfacing or re-surfacing using permeable materials (materials that let water soak through)

Surfacing or re-surfacing using an impermeable material, where the run-off drains to a permeable area within your property (for example, garden or soak away)

Surfacing or re-surfacing where the run-off drains to your household drains, or other drainage system that takes water away from your property

A planning application to your planning authority is required

Surfacing or re-surfacing where the run-off drains directly onto the highway or other land that you do not own

Surfacing your property in a way that sheds water onto an adjoining property or the highway is not permitted without the express permission of the owner.

Information for contractors

I am a contractor - how do I get on the "approved contractor" list for verge crossings?

You can apply to be added to our list of approved dropped crossing contractors by completing the  application form to become an authorised contractor (pdf / 94 KB).

In order to qualify, you must have £5million of public liability insurance, and have people suitably registered on the street works qualification register.

You should return with your completed application form:

  • an original of the insurance broker's letter confirming the required level of public liability insurance
  • photocopies of the street works qualifications register registration cards.

Please return your completed application with supporting documents to:

Development Control Team,

Business and Environmental Services,

County Hall,

Racecourse Lane,


DL7 8AH.