You’re on a motorway. There’s a contraflow system ahead. What would you expect to find?

Mark one answer
Lower speed limits
Temporary traffic lights
Wider lanes than normal
Speed humps
Main article: Contraflow system

A contraflow system means that traffic will be flowing along lanes in the opposite direction to the norm. As such, when you approach a contraflow system you should reduce your speed in plenty of time. As always, you should adhere to speed limits. This is particularly important when contraflow systems are in place because you will be travelling without a barrier in between you and the oncoming traffic.

When a contraflow system is in place on the motorway you should also be cautious of additional hazards in the road that may have caused the system to have been implemented. You should also stay in your lane and avoid making attempts to overtake whilst driving on a contraflow system.

What additional hazards may you face in a contraflow system?

Contraflow systems will expose you to a number of additional hazards you would not usually face on the motorway. These may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Narrower lanes;
  • Merging Lanes;
  • Lack of protective barrier;
  • Being much closer to oncoming traffic;
  • Obstructed hard shoulder;
  • Broken-down vehicles;
  • Debris in the road;
  • Other potential hazards;
  • Various combinations of the above hazards.

Theory Test Question

So, did you have a go at answering the theory test question? Let’s check your understanding by looking at each of the answers:

Lower speed limits

Correct! A contraflow system means you will be approaching an area with more hazards than normal. As such, you should adjust your speed downwards in plenty of time.

Temporary traffic lights

Wrong! Temporary traffic lights are not used on the main carriageways of the motorway as their use would be potentially hazardous.

Wider lanes than normal

Wrong! Contraflow systems will usually involve narrower lanes so you will need to reduce your speed.

Speed humps

Wrong! Speed bumps are not used on UK motorways as these would be hazardous.

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