Dacorum people who install dropped kerbs outside their homes without permission put in the spotlight
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For residents across the county without a driveway, there can be significant pressure to find a place to park close to their homes.
And there has been a trend to turn front gardens and other spaces into off-road parking spaces.
But to drop the kerb residents need to apply for permission to the county council – and pay, on average, a cost of £1800 for the work to be completed.
On Tuesday (May 9) council officials highlighted the ‘ongoing challenge’ posed by those residents who install unauthorised dropped kerbs or who drive illegally over grass verges or footways.
The practice, it was reported, created a potential safety issue for other road users and risked damage to the highway and ‘apparatus’ buried below.
In some cases, it was suggested, residents may be unaware of the requirement for a ‘properly constructed’ dropped kerb, may not be willing to pay for it – or may have been previously rejected.
Councillors were told that where an unauthorised crossing is discovered, council officers can write to a householder telling them to stop driving over the kerb or verge.
Alternatively – where the property would meet the requirement for dropped kerb – they can construct a dropped kerb and seek to recover its costs.
Or where a dropped kerb would not be permitted and where residents continue to access a property, they say they could consider blocking the access, seeking an injunction or reporting the matter to the police.
At the meeting Liberal Democrat Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said that if residents were gaining access through a pedestrian crossing or over tactile paving it was a ‘road safety issue’ and should be a high priority.
He also pointed to the costs of the damage caused by driving over footways and verges or constructing an unauthorised dropped kerb.
“It shouldn’t fall to the general council tax payers to have to pay for someone else’s damage,” he said.
It was reported to councillors that the criteria used to determine whether a dropped kerb can be installed was currently being reviewed.