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What should you do when going through a contraflow system on a motorway?

A Keep a good distance from the vehicle ahead.

At roadworks, and especially where a contraflow system is operating, a speed restriction is likely to be in place. Keep to the lower speed limit and don't
+ switch lanes
+ get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Be aware that there will be no permanent barrier between you and the oncoming traffic.

Related Information

A contraflow system: what is it?

When traffic is routed in the opposite direction from how it would typically flow, this is called a contraflow system. When there are roadworks, they are frequently used. Traffic may be routed through the central reservation and onto the other side of the carriageway if one of the carriageways is closed.

On a motorway, what would you anticipate to find at a contraflow system?

The yellow contraflow road sign on the motorway directs you to stay in your lane. The red areas show where you should not drive. Frequently, it will also indicate the maximum speed limit. You will typically see red cones separating your lane from oncoming traffic as you approach the contraflow system. Additionally, you would anticipate the lane you are in to be smaller than usual.

Contraflow cycle lane

On one-way streets, contraflow cycle lanes are used for two-way cycling. Cycling in towns and cities is significantly more convenient when cyclists are permitted to ride both directions on one-way streets. They can go faster to their destination by avoiding busy main roadways. Make sure you maintain a safe distance from these bikers and don't cross the solid white line into their lane because it is your duty as a driver to obey the law and keep these cyclists safe.

Contraflow bus lane

Similar to cycle lanes, contraflow bus lanes function by flowing in the opposite direction from normal traffic. The road sign for the contraflow bus lane is a blue rectangle with a white line down the middle, arrows on either side, and a bus. The arrows indicate the direction that the bus lane flows and the direction that the regular lanes are moving.

Where might you find a contraflow bus lane?

On a one-way street, you will typically see a contraflow bus lane where the buses are moving in the opposite direction of the other lanes. Due to the fact that they enable buses to go more rapidly by taking a more direct route, they are typically seen in major cities. Sometimes contraflow bus and cycle lanes are merged, causing buses and cyclists to travel in the opposite direction of the other lanes.



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