Access protection markings (H bars)

Access protection markings (APM) 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 can help improve the conspicuousness of a dropped kerb access and may deter people from parking in front of it.

Applying for an APM

Please note that in the past we have provided APMs free of charge, but this is no longer financially sustainable for the council and it is unfair for the general taxpayer to fund something from which they derive no benefit. Therefore anyone applying for a new APM or refreshment of, or changes to, an existing one will have to pay for it as described below.


  • £53 (non-refundable) for application and assessment, plus (subject to a successful application),
  • £125 for installing a new APM, refreshing an existing APM, or extending and refreshing an existing APM up to 7 metres in length, or
  • £168 for installing, refreshing or extending and refreshing an APM more than 7 metres in length.

Explanatory notes

  • The application and assessment fee is non-refundable.
  • It can take up to six months for an APM to be installed or refreshed following a successful application.
  • An APM will usually only extend to the top of the raker (angled) kerbs, but may extend up to a maximum of a further metre either side at the discretion of the council.
  • The 'dropped kerb' includes both the kerbs that are level with the road, and the raker kerbs (or 'quadrant' stones) at each end.
  • If you have more than one dropped kerb for your property you will need to make a separate application for each one.
  • If your dropped kerb extends across one or more neighbouring properties, then you can only apply for the marking to be installed or refreshed across your part of it. Your neighbours would need to apply separately for their part to be marked, should they wish to do so. If the applications are made around the same time then we may be able to consider marking them together.
  • We will not install an APM opposite a driveway or access, or adjacent to a kerb that is not dropped.

Criteria for applying

The following criteria must apply:

  • You must have an official dropped kerb access onto the highway
  • You must include photo evidence of parking in front of your dropped kerb access on two separate occasions
  • Double yellow lines must not be present

Apply online for an Access Protection Marking

If they consider that there are exceptional circumstances, officers in the parking team have the discretion to install an APM when there are site specific reasons which they feel make it beneficial to do so, although only where there is a dropped kerb.

Repainting APMs

If your APM requires repainting, you must apply for it again so that we can check it still meets our criteria, as we will not refresh them unless they meet the criteria mentioned above.

Vehicles obstructing access

If a vehicle is blocking your access, please let us know and we will report it to our parking enforcement team. They can issue a penalty charge notice if a vehicle is parked on the road next to a dropped kerb without permission of the occupier of the premises, regardless of whether or not there is as access protection marking painted on the road. If they have someone available or nearby, they can send them to have a look.

If your car is parked on your drive and a vehicle is blocking you in, you could also try contacting your local police team on the non-emergency number 101.

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.