Sharrow road markings

Sharrow road markings have been added in more than 30 locations across the city, after a trial found they improved safety for everyone.

Sharrow road marking showing a white bicycle with two arrows above it.

Sharrow road marking

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These sharrows are used at:

  • approaches to single-lane roundabouts
  • within our 30km/h suburban shopping areas
  • and to help highlight quiet routes.

For drivers

Sharrow road markings are there to remind drivers they should expect to see people on bikes riding further out in the traffic lane.

Drivers should slow down and wait until they can pass safely.

For people on bikes

Sharrows are used to encourage people on bikes to take their place in the traffic and ride further towards the centre of the lane:

  • in slower speed areas, so you are well clear of parked vehicles, and
  • as you approach and ride through single-lane roundabouts.

The sharrow markings are not intended to show exactly where on the road you should ride.

More information on riding in traffic and 'taking the lane' is in the New Zealand official code for cyclists.

Sharrows research

A 2014 trial, carried out in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency, found that more bicycle riders moved position to take the lane when sharrows were marked on the road.

A reduction in vehicle speeds at many trial sites was also recorded. This is important because lower speeds will improve safety for everyone.

The trial was held in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Nelson.

Read the full report (PDF)