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Designated Lanes: Bus, Crawler, Climbing & HOV lanes

Chapter 16

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Lanes may be restricted for use by particular types of vehicle or for a designated purpose: these restrictions may apply some or all of the time. The operating times and vehicle types will be indicated on the accompanying traffic signs. 

Don't drive in designated purpose lanes during their times of operation unless signs indicate that your vehicle is permitted.

High-Occupancy Lanes

Lane designated for use by high occupancy vehicles (HOV)

HOV lanes are meant to promote car pooling and to decrease the amount of solo drivers on the roads during peak-hours.

Where HOV lanes are in operation, they MUST ONLY be used by:

  • vehicles containing at least the minimum number of people indicated on the traffic signs
  • any other vehicles, such as buses and motorcycles, as indicated on signs prior to the start of the lane, irrespective of the number of occupants.

Bus lanes 

Bus lane on road at junction ahead

These are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation. You may enter a bus lane to stop, to load or unload where this is not prohibited.

Cycle lanes 

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These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. 

You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.

Climbing and crawler lanes

lesson imageSlow-moving vehicles should use the crawler lane

These lanes are provided on some hills. Use this lane if you are driving a slow-moving vehicle or if there are vehicles behind you wishing to overtake. Be aware of the signs and road markings which indicate the lane is about to end.

Overhead signals

Rule 269: Overhead gantry showing red cross over hard shoulderRule 269: Overhead gantry showing red cross over hard shoulder

Overhead signals are used to help control specific lanes, e.g. by closing them or by applying a speed limit to that lane. A lane marked with:

  • A white arrow pointing to another lane indicates that the lane you are currently in is about to close and that you must move to another lane.
  • A red cross indicates you must not travel in that lane. 
  • The national speed limit sign indicates the national speed limit applies after the incident.

If there is a speed limit sign above a lane, you must obey the speed limit for that lane.