Strange British road signs - and what they mean

To find out more about road signs, read the Highway Code.

White circular sign with a bike in the centre and a red border

NO CYCLES. No bicycles are allowed on this path.

Blue circular sign with a white bike in the centre

CYCLES ONLY. This path is only for use of bicycles.

Red sign with H A& E and an arrow

HOSPITAL with Accident & Emergency department (A&E). These signs are usually red.

Blue sign with H No A&E and an arrow

HOSPITAL without Accident & Emergency department (A&E). These signs are usually blue.

Sign showing British Rail logo and an arrow

RAILWAY STATION. This logo is used for the national long-distance rail network.

Brown sign with a white train logo

TOURIST RAILWAY. This brown sign is for tourist attractions, like steam railways.

Red circle with blue line across the middle. The words Public Subway underneath

UNDERGROUND TRAIN. This round sign shows that there is an Underground railway station. ‘Public subway’ means there is also a pedestrian route under the road.

Subway Sign

SUBWAY. Subway is the British word for ‘pedestrian underpass’ (a underground path to the other side of the road). It does not mean there will be any trains.

Red sign with the words Heavy Plant Crossing

HEAVY PLANT CROSSING. This sign means that large slow machinery (‘heavy plants’) might be crossing the road.


CATS EYES REMOVED: This sign means that there are no small reflectors in the middle of the road. These reflectors are known as ‘cats eyes’.

White circular sign with black diagonal stripe

This sign means the speed limit is now whatever is permitted for the type of vehicle and type of road. For example, for cars it would be:
– 30mph in urban areas
– 60mph single carriageways (one lane)
– 70mph dual carriageways (two lanes)
– 70mph motorways

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