Apply for access protection markings (white 'H' markings)

Find how out to apply for access protection markings, including how much it costs, the criteria you need to fulfil and an outline of the application process.

An access protection marking (APM) is a single white line in front of a lowered kerb to allow vehicle access to driveways. 

The purpose of the marking is to highlight the presence of a dropped kerb.

The markings are most effective when there are high volumes of people outside the immediate area parking for a short amount of time. Access protection markings show these people whether their parking is obstructive to a driveway.

Suffolk Highways and the police are not able to enforce access protection markings or be able to get a vehicle moved as they are advisory markings.

If you are the owner or occupier of premises in Ipswich, you can request the Civil Parking Enforcement team to enforce dropped kerbs outside your residential or business premises. Find more information from Ipswich Borough Council on reporting a parking problem.

The cost for new applications or to renew existing access protection markings is £100. You need to pay using a credit or debit card.

You will need to pay all costs, including ongoing maintenance, as there is no statutory requirement for Suffolk Highways to provide access protection markings.

We are unable to consider any requests for access protection markings until we receive a completed application form and payment.

Charges when your application is successful

If your application is successful, there will be a further charge of £150 to apply the marking. We are unable to order lining works until we receive this payment.

You must pay the £150 within 2 months of the date we confirm to you that your application has been successful.

Charges when your application is not successful

If your application is not successful then you will not be refunded the £100 application fee.

You can apply for an access protection marking if:

  • the address of the proposed marking is on a publicly maintained residential road and not on private land. Find out if your road is maintainable by Suffolk County Council*
  • the speed limit on the road is 30mph or less
  • the proposed marking will be directly outside the address given in Section 3 of the Application Form and in front of a dropped kerb to a vehicular access
  • where a single vehicular access serves 2 properties, the residents of both properties agree there is a need for an access protection marking
  • there is enough space to park a vehicle off the public highway in line with our vehicular access criteria. This is to ensure that any vehicles do not obstruct the footway. There will be a depth of at least 5 metres between the highway boundary and your property and width of at least 2.5 metres. 
  • you can clearly demonstrate that the location of the proposed marking is close to premises such as a school, pub, hotel, shop, business park or church which generates large amounts of on-street parking
  • you can provide evidence that there is a persistent problem and frequent obstruction of a vehicular access by completing Section 7 of the Application Form

*If you want to request for access protection markings on housing association or private land, you should refer to the land owner. They would have to both approve and fund the marking.

We will not approve an access protection marking:

  • if there is no dropped kerb leading to a vehicle access for the address where the marking is requested
  • where the vehicle access extends over more than 2 properties
  • where parking issues are a result of neighbours’ or residents’ parking
  • to prevent parking on the opposite side of the road from a vehicular access
  • to reserve on street parking
  • where there are existing road markings such as yellow, zigzag, bus stop, “keep clear” or box markings as these are already enforceable
  • for newly constructed or extended vehicle access crossings (under 3 months) as the applicant is unable to pre-determine if issues will arise

To apply for an access protection marking:

  1. download and read our Notes for Guidance (pages 1 to 4) and Application Form (page 5 onward) (Word, 285KB)
  2. keep the Notes for Guidance for your records
  3. detach the Application Form, including the evidence collection sheet(s) (page 8 onward), then complete and sign
  4. send your application form and evidence collection sheets to vehiclepermits@suffolk.gov.uk or:
Vehicle Management Officer
Safety and Speed Management Team
Suffolk Highways
Phoenix House
3 Goddard Road
IPSWICH
Suffolk IP1 5NP

We will send you an acknowledgement confirming receipt of your application.  This will also give you the reference number for your application which you will need to pay the £100 assessment fee.  

If you need further help, you can contact us using webchat or by phone on 0345 606 6171.

When we receive your application, we will check that:

  • you have completed all required sections of the application form, including the evidence collection sheets
  • you have given evidence that there is a persistent problem and frequent obstruction of a vehicular access
  • the application address is on a public road and not on private land
  • there is enough space to park a vehicle off the public highway (a depth of at least 5 metres between the highway boundary and your property and width of at least 2.5 metres.)
  • if 2 properties share the vehicular access, the residents of both properties have signed and confirmed their agreement to the application for an APM
  • you meet the criteria set out in the Notes for Guidance, based on the information you have provided
  • we have received the assessment fee of £100. Assessment of the application will not begin until you pay the fee.

It will take us up to 8 weeks to assess your application and we will write to you with the outcome of our assessment.

If you have not received an outcome within 8 weeks of the date that you paid the £100 application fee, you can contact us. Use webchat, email customer.service@suffolk.gov.uk or call 0345 606 6171.

If we approve your application, you will have to pay a further charge of £150 to apply the marking - we will send you the reference number you need to make the online payment.

If you need help with this process, you can contact us either on webchat or by phone on 0345 606 6171.

We are unable to arrange for markings to be applied until we receive this payment. You must pay within 2 months of the date we confirm that your application has been approved.

We usually lay the new markings within 4 months of the date of receiving your payment of £150. However, as lines can only be effectively marked on warm dry surfaces, the date when the markings will be applied is weather dependent.

If Suffolk Highways is planning to undertake any work at the application address within the following 12 months, we will suggest that the markings should not be laid until that work takes place.

However, if you choose to have the markings laid in advance of the planned works, you will be required to pay a further £150 to have the markings laid if they are covered by the planned works when they take place.

Suffolk Highways accepts no responsibility for replacement of the marking should it become faded or covered by third party roadworks such as those carried out by utilities companies and you will be responsible for applying for the marking to be replaced and the application and marking charges.

Sometimes Suffolk Highways may not be able to provide an access protection marking because of local planning or traffic considerations. This may be the case even if the application meets the criteria.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will outline the reason(s) why the application has not been agreed in writing.

We reserve the right to refuse to implement the marking where we do not think it is suitable or where it is suspected that it will cause tensions within communities. Similarly, we can remove the marking should it be shown to cause community tensions.

What happens if I don’t agree with your decision not to approve my application?

If you disagree with our decision, you can write to us setting out the reason(s) why you consider that we have not applied the criteria correctly.

You can do this by emailing vehiclepermits@suffolk.gov.uk or writing to:

Suffolk Highways
Safety & Speed Management Team
Phoenix House
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5NP

We will review your application in light of the reason(s) you have put forward and we will write to you again following further consideration.