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What is a contraflow system?

A contraflow can either be found on a one way street or a dual carriageway or motorway.


The word contra means to go against. So when we are talking about a contraflow, we are talking about a traffic going against the normal flow of traffic.


Contraflow on a One Way Street


You may come across a one way street that has a contraflow bus lane, cycle lane or both. This means that the bus and bicycles can drive in the opposite direction to the rest of the traffic.


The sign below is of a contraflow bus lane.




You can see the 2 arrows on the left, those are for the normal traffic flow, then you have the bus lane which shows an arrow going in the opposite direction. That means this is a contraflow bus lane. Usually found on a one way street.


Below is a sign for a withflow bike lane. If there was a picture of bus, then this would be a Withflow bus lane.




Unlike the contraflow sign, this sign has no arrows, which means the cyclists would be going in the same direction as the other traffic.


If it was a contraflow cycle lane, there would be arrows as in the picture below.



So the easy way to remember: Contraflow has arrows, Withflow has no arrows.





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