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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 (without lanes)
Example: Royal Canal Bank, Phibsborough, Dublin City

Royal Canal Bank

Contra-flow street (without lanes)

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 Row

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

Charlemont Mall

List of contra-flow in Ireland


  • Washington Street
  • O’Sullivan’s Quay
  • Pope’s Quay
  • More built TBC

Dublin City

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

  • Bull Alley Street, Dublin 8
  • Inchicore Road, Dublin 8 (odd, non-segregated two-way cycle lane and west bound traffic lane for most of the road)
  • Talbot Memorial Bridge/Memorial Road
  • Ryder’s Row, Dublin 1 (off Bolton Street)
  • Capel Street, Dublin 1 (short section attached to Ryder’s Row)
  • Andrew Street, Dublin 2
  • Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2 (inside contra-flow bus lane)
  • St Stephen’s Green East (inside bus lane, planned with BXD works)
  • Brunswick Street North, Dublin 7 (short section, access from George’s Lane only)

Two-way cycle tracks / paths which allow for contra-flow cycling:

  • Richmond Row, Dublin 8 (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
    Charlemont Mall, Dublin 2 (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
    Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (two-way cycle track and west bound traffic lane)
  • City Quay (linked to Talbot Memorial Bridge/Memorial Road)

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):

  • Royal Canal Bank, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
  • Hammabille Park, Terenure, Dublin 6w
  • Terenure Park, Terenure, Dublin 6w
  • Leinster Street North, Phibsborough, Dublin 7

One-way entry only:

  • Usher Street (entry-only, also including segregated right-only turn path on Bridgefoot Street)
  • Mountpleasant Avenue Upper, Rathmines

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

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


  • Chapel Street
  • Stapleton Place / The Cresent


  • Riverslade / Quay Road, Ballina

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