Northamptonshire Highways

Obstruction of driveways

​Under highway law, it is illegal to park a vehicle so that it obstructs other people wanting to use a road or path. It is also illegal to obstruct a private entrance.

Police have enforcement powers and can issue fixed penalty tickets, but officers are usually busy attending to other more serious crimes.

Users of a private entrance can take civil action for nuisance against people causing a persistent obstruction, but this process can be lengthy, expensive and unpleasant.

If you witness a parked car obstructing your driveway please contact the Police using their non-emergency telephone number 101.

Help with discouraging driveway obstruction

Where persistent obstruction occurs we can offer an access line across an entrance.

The marking has no legal significance, but has proved helpful in discouraging inconsiderate parking.

The access line is white and normally 75mm wide and extends across the dropped kerbs, plus up to one metre each side across the ramped kerbs.

Where the gap between two entrances is too short for a car to park, then both entrances will need to be protected by a continuous white line. Should your access footway crossing be joint or double with a neighbour the white line will cover the whole length of dropped kerbs and the application should be made on behalf of both parties.

These white lines can be useful in locations where non-residents parking on the street are creating persistent problems. They are less effective in tackling difficulties in areas where there is a general shortage of parking places for residents.

The white line cannot be sited on the opposite side of the road to the driveway to ease turning movements.

Applying for a white access line

When we receive an application an engineer will inspect the site to make sure that the request is practical and justified.

We will refuse applications where:

  • the property does not have a properly constructed vehicular access
  • it would be inconsistent to treat your entrance and not that of neighbouring properties - in these cases your local parish council or residents association may be prepared to submit your applications so that they can be considered together.

If your request is agreed you will need to pay £140.00 (including VAT) for the work to be carried out.

Request a white access line

What happens next?

​We will write to you within six to eight weeks to advise you of the outcome of your application.

  • If your application is unsuccessful, we will write and tell you why.
  • If successful, you will be asked to pay the £140 fee.

Work will not be carried out until payment has been received and then programmed to be carried out when suitable personnel are in the area.

If you are making your application during the winter months, i.e. October to April, there may be a long delay in carrying out this work due to weather conditions.

Renewing a line

​Should the line require renewing please inform us via our online Street Doctor service. This will be attended to as and when budgets and suitable personnel are in the area.

Updated budget timeline 2018/19

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