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The Contraflow System

It might be difficult to understand the various road markers and signposts, especially when you come across ones that are uncommon. It’s likely that you first learned about the contraflow system while preparing for your theory test, and it sounds like there’s a lot to understand. Thankfully, learning how to do it is actually rather easy.

So, even if your theory test is soon, you can still be sure you obtain those all-important scores. We’ve got the inside information on contraflow motorway lanes, contraflow bus lanes, and how to drive when you’re in the middle of a contraflow system.

What is a contraflow system?

Contra means the opposite, whereas traffic flow describes how cars move along a particular road. A contraflow system, then, is one in which traffic is directed in one or more lanes on the same carriageway (side of the road) in the other direction from how it usually goes—against the flow.

Systems for contraflow might be permanent or temporary. The most typical places you’ll see them are on motorways, where they’re used to keep traffic moving during construction, or on one-way streets, where they may access these vehicles in the opposite direction thanks to dedicated bus or bicycle lanes.

Contraflow systems on Motorways

Contraflow system on Motorway

As a car driver, the contraflow system may have the biggest impact on you while you’re on a motorway or dual carriageway. Dual carriageways, by definition, use a central reserve to separate traffic moving in several directions. On your side, with-flow traffic will be the only direction everyone is travelling. Given the high speeds that are permitted on these highways, keeping drivers apart is significantly safer.

Contraflow systems on Bus Lanes

Busy cities frequently have contraflow bus lanes on one-way streets. They enable buses to avoid congested roads by taking a detour around them. This makes it easier to keep everyone using the road moving.

This sign, thankfully, is one of the less mysterious ones. Once you study it, you’ll be able to identify areas where a contraflow bus lane is in effect.

Contraflow systems on Cycle Lanes

As a safer option, separate contraflow cycle lanes allow bicycles to travel along one-way roads in either direction. By doing so, they can avoid taking more dangerous routes and, in many circumstances, travel faster to their destinations. These lanes are safer for pedestrians on the pavement because cyclists who use them are less likely to get in accidents.

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