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H bar markings (access protection markings)

​​​​​H bar markings, also known as access protection markings or 'keep clear' markings, are white lines on the road, normally in front of driveways and garages. The markings are used to tell drivers not to wait or park where other vehicles need access. If drivers park there, they may cause an obstruction or block access to off-road parking.

What does a H bar marking look like?

H bar markings are easily recognisable. It is a marking on the road, shaped like an elongated H (|----|), across vehicle access points or driveways. They show drivers where there is access to a property. There is no parking or waiting allowed.

A graphic showing the H bar making, which is shaped like an elongated H, across the end of a driveway

What is an H bar marking for?

H bar markings show areas where there should be no parking or waiting. They are only intended to mark out the width of a driveway. This is from the point where the kerb starts sloping down (usually 1 metre from the edge of the driveway).

H bar markings don't show parking spaces for residents. If you or your visitors park on the marking, it will encourage others to do the same.

Will markings stop people parking across my drive?

H bar markings have been successful in stopping drivers parking across access points, but they cannot guarantee that your driveway will be clear at all times.

We cannot take enforcement action against vehicles parked on an H bar marking. Although they are a nationally-recognised marking, they have no legal backing.

However, they do give the police extra evidence to issue a parking ticket for obstruction. If drivers are repeatedly parking across your drive, you should contact the police on the non-emergency number 101. It is already an offence to cause an obstruction by parking across a driveway, and the police have the power to take appropriate action.

Can I request an H bar marking?

H bar markings are only added in places where access is blocked on a regular basis. We will consider applications where:

  • access to a driveway or garage is regularly obstructed
  • access to the property is via a dropped kerb
  • the property has off-street parking (a driveway)
  • vehicles need access to a communal parking area
  • there is a dropped kerb to help wheelchair users or pedestrians with prams to cross the road
  • the property is near to a school, business, or shopping area

Before making an application, please note:

  1. H bar markings are normally only used near busy destinations like schools, shops, etc., where short-term visitor parking is an issue.
  2. To avoid over-use, markings are not normally used where the parking problem is caused by other residents of the street. Obstruction of driveways by other residents should be reported to the police by calling 101.
  3. If you do not own the property, you must have your landlord's permission before you apply.
  4. If you and your neighbour share a dropped kerb, we will need to contact them before we approve your application.
  5. We do not currently charge for these markings, but we reserve the right to change this in the future if we get too many requests.

Please read the information above carefully. If you would still like to apply for an H bar marking, email trafficmanagement@middlesbrough.gov.uk with details of why you think it's needed.