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Access protection markings (H bars)

Access protection markings (APMs) are white 'H' shaped lines, sometimes called H bars, painted onto the road to draw attention to a driveway or access. These white lines are advisory markings and have no legal standing.

H line

APMs are only used when it is unclear that a dropped kerb or an access for vehicles exists, which is normally in one of the following circumstances:

  • where a pavement kerb is noticeably low (height less than 50mm) making it hard to see the difference between the raised and dropped areas.
  • where properties on rural roads are set far back from the road and have driveways concealed by trees or shrubbery.
  • where there is an access within parking bays marked on a road.

Applying for an APM

We do not charge for APMs.

Criteria for applying

  • One of the above circumstances applies
  • There are no yellow lines across the access

We will not install an APM where it is clear that a dropped kerb or access for vehicles exists.

If you think you meet our criteria, you can apply online for an APM, or write to us at:

Parking Strategy and Implementation Team
Hazel House
Merrow Lane

Where they consider that there are very exceptional circumstances, officers in the parking team have the discretion to install an APM when the criteria do not necessarily apply, but there are site specific reasons which they feel make it beneficial to do so.

Repainting APMs

If your APM requires repainting, you must apply for it again so that we can check it still meets our criteria. In the past APMs were overused, and so, following government guidance in the Traffic Signs Manual, which warns that over-provision of the markings will bring them into disrepute and compromise their effectiveness, we will not refresh them unless they meet the criteria mentioned above.

Vehicles obstructing access

Contact your local borough or district council's parking team if a vehicle is blocking your access. They can issue a penalty charge notice if a vehicle is parked across a dropped kerb, even if there is no access protection marking painted on the road.