If you intend to drive a vehicle over the path into your driveway off a public road, then you will need a dropped kerb. If you do not have dropped kerb, you must not drive over the path. If you do drive over a footway without installing a dropped kerb, you will be breaking the law and enforcement action could be taken against you. In addition, you will likely be held liable for any damage to the path and to any utility apparatus under the footway.
Before hiring a contractor, you need to contact your local authority to receive construction specification and details, then once you hire a contractor, they need to contact the local authority so they can confirm the contractor meets the required standards before issuing the licence to drop the kerb. The contractor needs to be suitably qualified to work on the highway and adequately insured (public liability insurance in the sum of £5 million), they must be fully accredited under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and the local authority may ask the contractor to provide evidence of on request. The contractor must check for utility apparatus within the work area and liaise with the utility companies concerned regarding any alterations needed if present.
Please note that if the construction will be inspected by the local authority and if it does not meet their specification, you will be asked to reconstruct the crossing and will be liable for any additional charges - so it is vital you choose a professional and reputable contractor, this is not a DIY project!
With most councils an application can be made online for a quotation. Following this online request, an officer will contact you providing a customer reference number and details of how to pay the fee. Once the fee has been paid, an officer will attend site and record measurements and take photographs of the existing footway, then a full quotation and specification will be sent within 10 days. Some councils will provide a full written quotation for the dropped kerb work and will use their own staff or preferred contractors to do the work, whereas others will allow you to choose your own contractor and will simply provide you with a detailed specification for the work which must be strictly adhered to. In any case the local authority will not do any actual driveway construction, just the dropped kerb and pathway rebuild.
The total cost will depends on the area of the footpath used to access the proposed driveway, but a typical cost for a 5-kerb extension with a footway width of up to 2 metres would be around £700. This price will include replacing kerbs with lower units and slanted kerbs and the excavation and rebuild of the crossing to protect all underground utility apparatus from any damage. If the dropped kerb is to be positioned on a Principal road or Classified road, then planning permission must be obtained through the planning department which will mean an additional charge.