Especially Authorised Signing Trial, 'No Entry Except Cycles' Signing Review

  • Published: MVA Consultancy for Transport for London, Cycling England, Department for Transport, 2010
  • Authors: L.Sewell and M. Nicholson
  • Date Added: 05 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 27 Aug 2016
  • Format: pdf


The aim of this study is to help inform decisions on the wider application of the proposed new combination of signs: ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ and generate evidence to respond to safety concerns.


Transport for London commissioned MVA Consultancy to undertake research into the impact of changing the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ signing combination on user behaviour at especially authorised monitoring sites where cycle contra-flow systems are currently in operation.

The structure of the study has been as follows:

  • Literature review of published and unpublished ‘grey’ literature on how the design of contra-flow streets affects its use and the behaviour of users and a summary of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBK&C) ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign trials.

  • STATS 19 review of personal injury collisions database to determine national and London trends for collisions involving cyclists on one-way roads and the severity of these collisions.

  • Discussions with Transport for London, Cycling England and the DfT to identify suitable monitoring locations, each formed by a ‘trial’ site and an ‘associated’ site, to monitor the effects of changing from the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign to ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ sign combinations at two sites within London and two sites outside of London.

  • STATS 19 collision analysis for the proposed monitoring sites.

  • ‘Before’ and ‘after’ video surveys at the ‘trial’ and ‘associated’ sites to record and analyse volumes and user behaviour, and to undertake a conflict assessment at each monitoring location to establish compliance and understand safety performance.

Key Findings:

  • Currently the ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ signing regime is not permitted by the DfT and therefore required special one-off authorisation by the DfT to monitor the effects of this signing combination at agreed monitoring sites.

  • There is limited literature that addresses contra-flow entrance points, with most literature and observations being made on European schemes. A review of previous studies showed that in the UK, the ‘No Entry’ sign is considered one of the most abided by signs. Signs prohibiting motorised traffic, similar to Sign 619 ‘Flying Motorcycle’ have been applied at locations in Denmark, Netherlands and Germany, which has shown that the signing is less widely accepted than a No Entry with a specific cycle exemption.

  • One-way streets in urban road networks can provide less favourable conditions for cyclists for a number of reasons:

    • Reducing the network permeability for cycling;
    • Increasing the distance required to travel between two points; and
    • Tending to increase traffic speeds.
  • There is anecdotal evidence that where one-way streets and one-way accesses make networks sufficiently impermeable, some cyclists will elect to use them illegally, putting themselves and other road users at risk. Where cyclists can be exempted from one-way restrictions, convenience can be increased and travel time can be reduced, which can help make cycling a more attractive travel choice.

  • There is a greater compliance by motorised vehicles with the ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ signing combination than the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign, which is in line with the findings of the RBK&C trials.

  • There was an increase in the number of cyclists travelling in contra-flow following installation of the ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ sign combination, suggesting a greater understanding of the ‘No Entry Except Cycles’ signing regime than that of the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign.

  • Few interactions were recorded in both the ‘before’ and ‘after’ signing scenarios. There was no significant association between the signing changes and severity of interactions.

  • As the cyclists using the network tended to be commuters, they were assumed to be familiar with the signing and road restrictions and showed no hesitation in their contraflow movements.

  • Vehicles were less likely to hesitate when presented with the ‘No Entry’ sign, relative to the ‘Flying Motorcycle’, suggesting better understanding, although further observations are required to prove significance.

  • Contra-flow cyclists behaved and positioned themselves similarly regardless to the signing presented at the one-way streets.

  • Cyclists tended to use contra-flow lanes when present, otherwise they utilised (their) left-side of the carriageway.

  • Vehicles were more likely to reverse down a one-way street when ‘No Entry’ signing was present, whereas they were more likely to go in the forward direction (opposite one-way designated direction) with the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign.

  • This study has revealed that the ‘No Entry Except Cyclists’ sign combination is more widely respected than the ‘Flying Motorcycle’ sign and has suggested that the combination is more readily understood by cyclists.

  • There is no evidence that compliance with ‘No Entry’ signs by motorised vehicles is reduced at associated sites, in fact compliance slightly improved. There was a slight increase in violations by cyclists at some associated sites but this was not statistically significant. There was no statistically significant change in conflict between road users at sites with the new combination.

  • This analysis indicates that, for the sites studied, the safety concerns raised about the ‘No Entry Except Cyclists’ combination are not supported by the evidence. Indeed, the improved compliance by motorised vehicles is likely to result in a net risk reduction to all users.

  • Accordingly there seems no immediately obvious reason not to use this combination of signs. We recommend that the use of this combination be more widely permitted and monitored over a longer period at a wider variety of sites.


Contraflow cycling, ‘No Entry Except Cyclists’ sign, cyclist behaviour.


Informative study which has used monitoring of real world situations to make conclusions about the feasibility of changing