Vehicular crossover guidance notes
A proposal for a new crossing will need to satisfy both planning and highway requirements before it can proceed. These notes should guide you through the necessary procedures.
Many properties in Swansea were built at a time when cars either didn't exist or were very rare and so there was no need for a vehicular crossing from the road to the property.
There are procedures in place, set out in the Highways Act, to enable people to gain access from the road across footways and verges, which are part of the highway. These procedures ensure that the safety of other road users and pedestrians is not compromised, and that damage is not caused to the road or footway.
Planning permission is not usually required if the access is onto an unclassified road, but might still be needed if the access forms part of more extensive works to the property, or the property is a conservation area. Again, you should seek advice from your local planning office before proceeding. If they say that planning permission is not required, make sure you have that decision in writing.
If you live on a classified (A, B or C) road, you will need planning permission for a new access to your property. To make a planning application, you will need to produce plans of your proposals and pay the appropriate fee.
It is advisable to discuss your ideas with the local planning authority (City and County of Swansea) first. The planning office will advise you of the appropriate engineer to speak to about the highways implications of your proposals.
The engineer will want to check that your access has adequate visibility and, if necessary, space to turn vehicles around. It may not be acceptable to reverse out onto a busy road. If your proposals do not meet the required criteria, you will be asked to modify your plans. If the criteria cannot be achieved, your planning application may be refused.
An application form must be submitted for every new crossover whether planning permission was required or not. The application form needs to be completed on each occasion. A fee of £98.00 payable to the City and County of Swansea must be received at the time of application (non-refundable). This fee is to cover the necessary administrative costs borne by the authority for processing the consent. On receipt of your application, an inspector will visit the property to gather relevant information.
The inspector will then need to confirm the location of the proposed crossing. You will then be sent an official quotation for the construction of the crossing including any additional works.
The cost of the works is exempt from VAT.
The quotation will be valid for 6 months if you decide to proceed, you should return your signed acceptance of quotation and pay in full before work can commence. Work would then normally start within six weeks. The completed vehicular crossing forms part of the highway, and its future maintenance will be the responsibility of the local highway authority.
Frequently asked questions
Can a request for a vehicle crossing be refused?
It is rare for a request to be refused. However, there are situations where permission may not be granted, these being:
a) Presence of mature trees
b) Existing traffic orders eg. parking bays
c) Unsafe access/egress
d) Adequate depth/width to park a vehicle totally within the curtilage of the site. ie minimum 5m depth x 2.5 metres width OR 8m width x 2.6 metres depth.
Should any of the above conditions apply you are advised to contact the Highways Department before formally submitting an application.
Can a request for a H-Bar white line be refused?
Yes - H-Bar requests may be refused due to a number of reasons. Please contact the Highways Department if you require further information.
Must I accept the quotation?
Yes - This procedure is the only way to get a legal vehicle crossing to your property. If you do not accept the quotation and commence or continue to drive across the footway and/or verge without an authorised crossing, formal notice may be served on you and access denied.
Can I get my own contractor to construct a vehicle crossing?
No - The City and County of Swansea, as the highway authority, has a responsibility to manage all work on the local highway network. The introduction of recent legislation requires a much closer liaison between the highway authority and the utilities companies when working on the highway.
There is a need for public liability insurance to a minimum of £5 million, high standards of workmanship by certified personnel and close supervision while working on the highway in the presence of underground mains and cables. The practicalities of meeting these requirements mean that only the City and County of Swansea's own contractor may carry out these works.
Can an un-authorised vehicle crossing be closed?
Yes - Our Highways Department has authority to take action to prevent use of un-authorised crossings.