Contra-flow cycling in Ireland and Northern Ireland

*** This page is a draft in progress; last edited: December 2016 ***

If you know of any example or anything else we have missed please email us at or tweet us at @irishcycle.

What is contra-flow?

A number of arrangements which legally allows for cycling in the opposite direction to the general flow of motorised traffic. The arrangements include:

  • Contra-flow cycle paths
  • Two-way cycle paths on an otherwise one-way street
  • Contra-flow cycle lanes, with or without entry treatments
  • Contra-flow streets, with or without entry treatments
  • Contra-flow bus lanes, with or without cycle lanes
  • Contra-flow entry only, rest of street is two-way for all

NOTE: This page does not represent best practice, it is just an overview of contra-flow across Ireland. Please also note that cyclists should obey traffic signs, markings and signals presented to them at any of the listed streets — this page is not a legal guide. articles on contra-flow


Photographic examples

Contra-flow cycle path
Example: Newtown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Blackrock contra-flow


Contra-flow street
Example: Royal Canal Bank, Phibsborough, Dublin City

Royal Canal Bank

Example: Leinster Street North, Phibsborough, Dublin City


Contra-flow entry only
Example: Usher Street, Dublin City

entry treatment


Cycle lane, with entry treatment (entry not pictured)
Example: Ryder’s Row, Dublin City (note: cycle logo painted on ground is facing wrong way)

Ryders RowC


Two-way cycle path on an otherwise one-way street
Example: Charlemont Mall, Dublin City

Charlemont Mall

List of contra-flow in Ireland and Northern Ireland


Upper Arthur Street
Alfred Street
Apsley Street
University Square


Washington Street
O’Sullivan’s Quay
Pope’s Quay


Dublin City

There are contra-flow cycle lanes or paths in operation at the following locations in Dublin City:

1. Bull Alley Street, Dublin 8
2. Inchicore Road, Dublin 8 (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
3. Talbot Memorial Bridge/Memorial Road
4. City Quay (linked to Talbot Memorial Bridge/Memorial Road)*
5. Ryder’s Row, Dublin 1 (off Bolton Street)
6. Capel Street, Dublin 1 (short section attached to Ryder’s Row)
7. Andrew Street, Dublin 2
8. Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2 (inside contra-flow bus lane)
9. St Stephen’s Green East (inside bus lane, planned with BXD works)
10. Brunswick Street North, Dublin 7 (short section, access from George’s Lane only)
11. Usher Street (entry-only, but including segregated right-only turn path on Bridgefoot Street)
12. Richmond Row, Dublin 8 (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
13. Charlemont Mall, Dublin 2 (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
14. Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)

Contra-flow with signs only: These are streets with low traffic volume and speeds where general traffic is one-way but two-way cycling is allowed via entry signs alone (no entry signs with ‘except cyclist’ plates):

1. Royal Canal Bank, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
2. Hammabille Park, Terenure, Dublin 6w
3. Terenure Park, Terenure, Dublin 6w

* Cycle track markings on City Quay campshire reversed in the last year; reported verbally to council traffic department, but unclear why markings have not been fixed.


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

1. Newtown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
2. Nutgrove Park
3. St Columbanus Road, Milltown, Dublin 14 (part of Luas to UCD route)
4. N11 between Merrion Grove and UCD flyover



Chapel Street
Stapleton Place / The Cresent



Riverslade / Quay Road, Ballina

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