Bicycle lanes and shared paths

Know the difference between bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and shared paths in NSW. Take extra care in these areas.

Bicycle lanes

Bicycle lanes are designed for bicycles. Signs and road markings show you where they are.

When a bicycle lane is marked on the road, bicycle riders must use it, unless it’s not practical to do so.

Bicycle lanes start with either a sign or a road marking with both a picture of a bicycle and the word ‘Lane’.

Bicycle road markings are displayed along the bike lane to remind drivers and bicycle riders to stay within their lanes.

Bicycle lane sign
Sign indicating bicycle lane

A bicycle lane ends with a sign or a road marking with a picture of a bicycle and the words ‘Lane end’. A bicycle lane also ends at an intersection (unless it’s at the unbroken side of the continuing road or continued across the intersection by broken lines) or at a dead end.

You can drive in a bicycle lane to avoid an obstruction. You can also drive in a bicycle lane for up to 50m to:

  • enter or leave the road
  • overtake another vehicle turning right or making a U-turn
  • enter a lane from the side of the road.

If you need to drive in a bicycle lane, take extra care and check your surroundings for bicycles.

Bicycle lane ends sign
Sign indicating end of bicycle lane

Bicycle paths

Bicycle paths are different from bicycle lanes. It’s optional for bicycle riders to use a bicycle path.

Bicycle paths start with a ‘Bicycle path’ sign or a road marking. They run alongside a road or on off-road areas.

Bicycle paths can also be used by:

  • people using skateboards, foot scooters and rollerblades
  • people who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters
  • postal workers on motorcycles.

Other vehicles can only drive on a bicycle path if they’re entering or leaving a road, or if there’s a sign saying they can. When driving on a bicycle path, you must give way to all other road users on the path.

Bicycle lane signs
Bicycle path and Bicycle path ends signs

Shared paths

Shared paths can only be used by bicycle riders and pedestrians.

On shared paths, bicycle riders must:

  • keep to the left (unless it’s not practical).
  • give way to pedestrians. This means slowing down and even coming to a stop if necessary.
  • keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle rider.

Riders of skateboards, foot scooters and rollerblades must:

  • keep to the left (unless it’s not practical)
  • give way to all other pedestrians.
Bicycle lane shared sign
Sign indicating shared path for bicycles and pedestrian use
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