Highway Code: Road Signs
Understanding road signs is vital to being safe and alert on the road. When you’re confident with the different signs you’ll see out and about your ride with more confidence and awareness. In this guide we cover some of most important (but not all) signs for new motorcyclists.
Signs that are red circles give orders that must be obeyed.
This sign indicates that no motor vehicles are permitted beyond this point.
Signs that are blue circles (with no red border) give instructions that must be followed.
This sign shows the direction you must travel in - ‘ahead only’.
Signs that are triangular give warnings.
This sign shows that traffic is merging from left ahead - The priority through route is indicated by the broader line.
All signs giving directions are rectangular but colours vary.
Motorways have blue backgrounds, main roads have green backgrounds, and local routes have white backgrounds with black borders.
Road humps - these are designed to calm traffic.
Give way to oncoming vehicles.
Vehicles travelling in the direction of the black arrow have priority over those travelling the other way (red arrow).
In this case you must not make a right turn.
This is commonly seen as you approach traffic islands. You must keep to the left-hand side of the sign as you pass it.
This sign will indicate which side of the road will narrow. This example shows that the road will narrow on the right hand side.
This is of particular importance to motorcyclist, as side winds affect stability.
Parking solely for motorcycles.
Slippery roads ahead.
All vehicles must stop and give way before moving beyond the sign.
There will also be a solid white line across the road.
No entry for any vehicles.
These signs show when and where parking is allowed on the road. In some locations parking may be banned at all times.
Red route - No stopping is allowed for any reason except busses, unless indicated by a sign during certain times.
These roads may also be indicated by red lines at the side instead of the usual yellow lines.
Bus lane operational at all times shown.
Motorcycles are not permitted to use bus lanes unless a motorcycle symbol is shown on the sign.
No U turns allowed.
No motor vehicles allowed.
Take some time to go through the different types of signs, what they mean and where you might see them. Practice with a friend and when you feel confident move onto guide 4.