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Paths, cycle lanes, and bus lanes

You may encounter several types of cycle lanes or paths and bus or transit lanes. Some are separated from some or all traffic, or shared with people walking.

You are not required by law to use cycle lanes, paths or bus lanes and you have the right to use the road. For example, if the road is suitable and you are travelling at speed, you might want to avoid shared paths with many people walking.

This page describes:

Cycle lanes on a road
Cycle-only paths
Shared paths
Footpaths
Bus lanes and bus-only lanes
Transit lanes

Cycle lanes on a road

Cycle lanes are painted lanes along a roadway, designed to be used by people riding bikes. Cycle lane markings can include painted edge lines, bike symbols, ‘bike lane’ wording and may include green paint.

Cycle-only paths

Cycle-only paths (or separated cycleways) are marked with signs or markings and are physically separated from traffic on the road. Separators can include kerbs, bollards or planted areas. Some cycleonly paths are located away from roads altogether.

Some cycle-only paths are one-way, and some are two-way. Ride in the correct direction, shown by signs or markings. Ride on the left and pass on your right.

Cycle only path

Shared paths

Shared paths are off-road paths such as widened footpaths, marked with signs or markings and are physically separated from the roadway. They are for people walking and riding bikes as well as push scooters, e-scooters, skates, skateboards and other similar ways of getting around.

Pass other people with patience and care.

Passing other riders and pedestrians

Some shared paths have signs to let you know who has priority, such as pedestrians. You must give way to people who have priority.

Shared path sign

Segregated shared path sign

In segregated shared paths people riding bikes must stick to the side of the path marked for bikes.

Footpaths

It’s illegal to ride a cycle on footpaths unless you’re delivering mail or the cycle has very small wheels (wheel diameter less than 355 millimetres). As well as people walking, footpaths can be used by people on push scooters, e-scooters, skates, skateboards, and other similar ways of getting around.

Bus lanes and bus-only lanes

Bus lanes and bus-only lanes have signs or markings to show that they can only be used by special kinds of vehicles.

Bus lanes have a BUS LANE road marking and sign. You can ride a bike in bus lanes.

Bus lane sign

Bus-only lanes have a BUS ONLY LANE road marking and sign. You must not ride a bike in bus-only lanes.

Bus-only lane sign

Bus lanes and bus-only lanes apply all the time unless there’s a sign saying what days and times they apply. Other vehicles may use these lanes outside these days and times.

 

Transit lanes

Transit lanes have signs or markings to show that they can only be used by vehicles with passengers.

Bikes, buses, shuttles, taxis, motorbikes and mopeds can use transit lanes, even if they don’t have passengers. Transit lanes apply all the time unless there’s a sign saying what days and times they apply.

Transit lane sign

This sign indicates a transit lane in which cars must have at least one passenger (T2).