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New signage option to facilitate contraflow cycling

Starting this year, councils are expected to be able to create cycling contraflows on one-way streets without undertaking expensive planning consultation and traffic engineering works, the London Cycling Campaign reports.

Thanks to long-anticipated - and according to some cycling bodies, long overdue - new Department for Transport signage rules, councils should be able to add additional “Except cyclists” signs to existing red and white 'No Entry' signage.

Currently, if a council wishes to operate a cycling contraflow system in a one-way street, it must create a separate entry point for cyclists which can mean extensive road works and considerable expense. 

Traffic experts believe that it was the creation of one-way systems around Britain’s town and cities that discouraged many cyclists from undertaking what were once short, urban journeys which were lengthened by unnecessary one-way detours. In many European cities, notably Brussels, cyclists routinely have two-way access to what are nominally one-way streets.

The "except cyclist" signage widely used on the continent has been trialled in a number of London boroughs, prior to its anticipated roll out across the UK.

A DfT spokesperson told road.cc:

“We have been pleased with the results of the trials of the new no entry except cyclists sign and will be making an announcement shortly on how more councils across the country will be able to make use of this tool to help improve journeys for cyclists.”