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Road Signs That Benefit Pedestrianscyclists & Pedestrians

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 20 Sep 2014 | comments*Discuss
Cyclists Pedestrians National Cycle

Estimates for the number of cyclists in the UK vary. An average figure is 10 million. This compares to 31 million cars. Bike use on roads, though, is still considerable.

There are also a lot more pedestrians than either bikes or cars. The UK population is 62 million. Everyone is a potential pedestrian whether they also cycle or drive.

Consequently, road signs are not exclusively for motorists. They cater for the needs of cyclists and pedestrians as well.

National Cycle Route Network

The national cycle route network has directional signs. These signs are usually rectangular, blue and have a white border. The signs show a symbol of a bike.

Each sign has an arrow pointing towards a national cycle route network junction. The sign may also contain the number of the junction in white on a red background.

Many of the national cycle route network signs have the name of a destination and the number of miles. The name of the cycleway may also appear across the top of the sign.

Junctions and Cyclists

Some junctions allow cyclists to cross the road using a designated lane. A blue sign with a white border displays the layout of the junction and the route cyclists should take.

Cycle Parking

Many areas offer free parking for cyclists. The signs are blue with white borders. A white “P” appears alongside a bike symbol. An arrow indicates the direction of the parking. Further information on such a sign may include the distance to the parking place.

Cyclists Only

A circular road sign with a blue background and a white symbol of a bike indicates an area for cyclists only.

This sign may sometimes include a symbol of an adult holding the hand of a child. In this instance, the area is for bikes and pedestrians only. A vertical white line down the sign indicates separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cycle Lane

The sign for a cycle lane on a road is a blue rectangle with the white symbol of a bike and a vertical white line, usually to the right of the sign.

Directional Signs For Pedestrians

Directional signs for pedestrians are similar to those for cyclists. They have a blue background with a white border. There is a white arrow and a white symbol of a walking pedestrian. The details of a destination also appear such as “Public library”.

There are variations for pedestrian route signs. Some have a black background with or without a border. Others are brown signs for tourist attractions and facilities. All the signs indicate routes that are for exclusive pedestrian use.

Public Footpath

Public footpath signs have a green background with white lettering and a pedestrian symbol. The signs may give the name of public footpath destinations and the distances.


There are red-bordered triangular warning signs that advise motorists to be aware of pedestrians. These signs contain symbols such as:

  • Two children running
  • Two elderly people, one of whom has a walking stick
  • An adult holding the hand of a child
  • An adult crossing a road

A triangular warning sign with the symbol of a bike advises motorists that a cycle route lies ahead.

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@thehots. We can't find out definitively what these mean but they seem to be simply for raising awareness. We'll keep looking but if any of our other readers know the answer, please share!
TrafficSignsAndMeanings - 23-Sep-14 @ 2:26 PM
White cycles have been painted along both sides of the road I live in.There is no cycle track (or room for one).The junctions of adjoining roads have a maroon strip across them with a cycle each side. What difference do these signs make?
thehots - 20-Sep-14 @ 6:45 PM
@BarB - it's great that this consortium is making the canal path more accessible to cyclists and other users, but unfortunate & potentially dangerous for you and your family/pets. Have you managed to arrange a meeting with anyone from the consortium? It's unlikely that they will change their minds on the path widening scheme, but you may be able to propose signage or slowing measures near to your property. Often where paths are designated for both cyclists and pedestrians, there are strict rules in place to ensure each use their own side of the track (a good example would be somewhere like a disused railway line)
TrafficSignsAndMeanings - 25-Jul-14 @ 11:38 AM
I have no road access from my cottage on the Canal and the Council Consortium is converting the old, narrow, earth towpath into a 1.5-2m wide cycle track past my concealed gateway.I have foot access only a distance of up to a mile in each direction.So far, they are refusing to put in any speed restrictions measures or barriers and I am terrified of being hit by one of the cyclists using this path to "train".They already do on the old narrow path and I have been asking for help for several years.North the path is nearly a mile long and uninterrupted and my partner, two terriers and I have to walk on it to get to work.Will one of us have to be hurt before someone will do something?The towpath is parallel to a busy road so the cyclists use it in preference and the contractors have been complaining about the bikes whilst they have been doing the jobCan anybody help, please?
Bar B - 25-Jul-14 @ 11:11 AM
On a narrow point on an access road, is a sign available that gives pedestrians right of way ahead of cars ... i.e. the car has to stop to allow the pedestrian to walk through???
thomma - 16-Jan-12 @ 2:19 PM
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