Kerb Stones are our business
Often little thought of, kerb stones appear on nearly every carriageway in the UK, making them an integral part of Britain's roadways. Kerb stones provide a number of important functions including providing a channel for the drainage of surface water, preserving the integrity of the roadway and providing a physical barrier between vehicles and footpaths and pavements.
Pre-Cast Concrete Kerbstones
Concrete kerbstones are the most popular kerbstone in use in the UK today. There are four main concrete kerbstone profiles used thought the UK
The most popular of these is the concrete half battered kerb stone which contain a significant sized slope incorporated into the design.
All kerb stones, other than the Square Kerb, have waterlines incorporated into their design. This waterline is distinguished by the change in angle on the kerbstone and is the level over which surface level is not expected to overlap.
This acts as a good warning to motorists that they are at risk of running off the carriageway. Half Battered Kerbstones are usually used in areas where the road is adjoined with by a footpath. By contrast, splayed kerb stones are only used where there is no footpath present. the reason for this is that they are specifically designed to allow vehicles to bump off the carriageway when required.
Combined Kerb and Drainage Systems
The kerbstone which also acts as a drainage system is a relatively recent invention, only having been invented in the 1980s by Neill S. Beanland Ceng of West Yorkshire County Council. This type of kerbstone now bears his name and is known as a Beany Block which is a registered trademark. While the original Beany block is manufactured exclusively by Marshalls Ltd, other kerb stone manufacturers have designed similar products.
The traditional combined kerb and drainage system comes in two parts which join together. The top block has the drainage holes which allow water from the carriageway, while the bottom section is a typical U base which transports the water away. More recent plastic kerbstones now incorporate the drainage system into one single unit, making fitting even easier. For this reason more and more kerb developments are using this drainage system.
Recyclable Kerb Stone
Plastic kerb stones have become increasingly popular in recent years for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are significantly lighters (c6kg) than conventional concrete kerbstones which can weigh up to 70kg. The lighter weight means that mechanical handling equipment is not required which can speed up the laying process significantly and also reduce the number of workers required to lay the curb. Secondly, plastic kerbs can be cut to size quickly and with less dust than a concrete kerb providing health and safety benefits. Thirdly, the plastic kerb is actually more durable than a traditional kerb stone with less cracking and chipping. While it is also resistant to salt and grit which s used on roads in winter. Finally, the plastic kerb is obviously greener, with kerbstones able to be recycled when required as well as being made from used plastic bottles in the first instance.
Transition Kerbs (also know as Droppers)
Transition kerb stones are use to ease access for pedestrian or vehicle access in areas such as private driveways or traffic lights. They are manufactured as either right handed or left handed droppers and they idea is to reduce the amount of check over the kerb.
Kerb Stones and Planning Permission
The general public are not allowed to remove or drop kerb stones without the appropriate planning permission from their local council and the highways agency. Typically, both permission are give at the same time as the local council will refer your application to the County Council who represent the Highway Agency in these matters. The Highway Agency approval being required to allow you to drive over the pavement.
Planning permission for a dropped kerb can typically take six months to be granted. For those who live in cul de sacs it may be worthwhile asking your local authority if planning permission is needed as in most instances a cul de sac is not considered a classified road.
If the council gives permission for the kerb to be dropped, one of their authorised contractor must be used for the work, typically it will cost around £900 for a crossover, which is the lowering of a kerbstone to allow access to a driveway/garden. While many contractors will offer to do this work for a cheaper rate if it comes to the attention of the council then you will almost certainly be fined and required to redo the kerb.