Contra-flow

Cherry Allan's picture

Contra-flow cycling (2-way cycling in 1-way streets)

Allowing cyclists to ride two-way in one-way streets makes cycling more convenient and attractive...
Contra-flow street
Headline Messages: 
  • Allowing cyclists to ride two-way in one-way streets makes cycling in town and cities more convenient by opening up the street network and providing short-cuts. It can also help make cycling safer by offering alternatives to busy roads.
  • Contra-flow works well in many other European countries, where it is already widespread.
  • As it gives cycling an advantage over driving, contra-flow helps encourage a shift from cars to cycles for short local journeys.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • One-way systems put cyclists at a disadvantage, making their journeys longer and more stressful. Restoring two-way cycling on one-way streets can significantly improve the safety, convenience and attractiveness of cycling.
  • Each local authority should review all its one-way streets, with the aim of progressively converting them either for two-way use (particularly for one-way systems on more major roads), or permitting contra-flow cycling (e.g. on narrower streets), unless it can be demonstrated that there are overriding hazards to the safety of cyclists.
  • Contra-flow cycling should be facilitated through appropriate engineering treatments, depending on the traffic volumes, speeds and road widths involved.
  • In many cases, e.g. on quieter roads, unsegregated two-way cycling on an unmarked road is an appropriate solution. More heavily trafficked one-way roads should be provided with contra-flow lanes.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
August 2013
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Brighton cyclists celebrate 2-way cycling!

Local cycle campaign group Bricycles has long called for the reinstatement of 2-way cycling, running a “One way? No way” campaign...
CTC Campaigner Becky Reynolds cycling legally through North Laine, Brighton

Local cyclists in Brighton can now cycle legally in any direction through North Laine, the network of shopping and residential streets near Brighton Station.

Traffic orders by Brighton and Hove City Council exempt cyclists from one-way restrictions in Trafalgar Street, Gloucester Road, Gloucester Street, Vine Street, Robert Street, Kensington Street and 7 other streets (Church Street, Foundry Street, Kemp Street, Kensington Place, Over Street, Queen’s Gardens, and Tidy Street). New cycling signs have been marked out on the roads.

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Chris Peck's picture

Brighton goes against the flow

Contra-flow cycling is coming to more streets in the North Laine neighbourhood of central Brighton.
Jubilee St has a contra-flow cycle lane - 12 more will only be signed only

Brighton's North Laine neighbourhood is a vibrant shopping area, tucked in between the railway station, the main road north to London and the historic town centre. Narrow terraced streets were long ago made one-way to reduce through motor traffic. But, as with nearly every one-way restriction over the decades, no concession was made for cyclists.

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