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A crossfall is a gradient across the path surface which allows water to flow towards the lower path edge. It is generally recommended to produce a crossfall inwards towards the slope, when a path contours around a slope, to prevent users on wheels inadvertently steering off the edge of the path. Likewise on a curve, the crossfall should be towards the centre of the radius of the curve (often referred to as a favourable crossfall).

  • Crossfalls are generally used on paths where the natural drainage is not suitable for a camber, like crossing a side slope, or on bends where the radius of curvature is small

  • Crossfalls are easier to form than cambers as the level surface slopes in one direction only

  • Wheeled users such as wheelchair user prefer crossfalls with 2% (1:50) gradient. Steeper crossfalls can make steering difficult over any distance

Cross fall


A crossfall should be no more than 2.5% (1:40). This means that a 2m path may have a height difference of up to 80mm across its width, or up to 50mm for a 1.2m path.


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