Cycle lane types

In many countries, there are two different kind of cycle lanes:

  1. Proper cycle lanes exclusive to cyclists that are mandatory to use and
  2. Cycle lanes that are not mandatory (because they are too slim) but advisory and cars may cross into them if they need to

Examples from Ireland:

Exclusive cycle lane (continuous line)

An advisory cycle lane (a rather extreme example, it doesn’t have to be that bad)

Now, for Sweden, I found only Vägmarkeringar which describes cycle lane markings in Sweden to be a dotted white line.

Does this mean that the second cycle lane type does simply not exist in Sweden?

(And hence, tagging cycleway:<left|right|both>:lane=exclusive or =advisory would be superfluous?)

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If you mean " M16.
Cykelpassage eller cykelöverfart
it’s a marking for crossing.

About your other texts, is confusing to me. It’s seem not as complete description of common cycle- and footways in Sweden.

What’s the problem you have?

No, I mean M5, e.g. here

My question is, are there exclusive cycle lanes and also advisory cycle lanes in Sweden? If yes, how are the latter tagged?

I’m not sure what this exactly means.

If you mean “cycle here if you want”, but you can cycle on (for example) on the parallell car road. I’m not aware of such cycleways in Sweden. I’m even not sure such advisory cycleways exist anywhere here.

The main rule is in Sweden: if you cycle and there is cycle lane in the direction you are going, you must use it. I.e signs D4, D6, D7 on page Påbudsmärken


Well, then maybe it doesn’t exist.Which is good for you, because cyclists universally despise these things for being unsafe -

In countries where they exist, they are usually only built in places where the minimum width for a cycle lane cannot be fulfilled, which is why they are also not mandatory for use. They are quite popular amongst city planners as a form of (human) traffic calming.

The main rule is in Sweden: if you cycle and there is cycle lane in the direction you are going, you must use it. I.e signs D4, D6, D7 on page Påbudsmärken

While this has been proposed, this is not true at the moment. The rule is that cyclists can use whichever road suits best for their destination. So they can use the street even if there is a cycle path with one of the signs D4, D6 or D7 next to the street.

My question is, are there exclusive cycle lanes and also advisory cycle lanes in Sweden? If yes, how are the latter tagged?

This is not common practice at all outside of some cities. While many other countries have taken street space (often parking space) and made cycle lanes out of them we haven’t in Sweden. Most of the time cyclists share space with pedestrians or have their own cycle path that is separated in some way from the street/road.

I wasn’t aware that in some cases you can use the carriageway even if there is a cycle lane in the direction you are cycling.

Se following text from the Swedish authority (Trafikregler för dig som cyklar - Transportstyrelsen):
"Du får, om du är särskilt försiktig, cykla på körbanan även om det finns en cykelbana. Detta under förutsättning att du fyllt 15 år och att hastighetsbegränsningen på körbana inte är högre än 50 kilometer i timmen. I övrigt får du använda körbanan endast om det är lämpligare med hänsyn till färdmålets läge. "

If you are over 15 yeas old, the carriageway max speed is 50 km/h or lower, and carriageway is more suitable for your destination.


In Ireland and the UK, cyclists do not have to use any form of cycle lanes by law. So a mandatory cycle lane refers to the fact that it is mandatory for a motor vehicle to not use it.

In Sweden, cyclists do legally have to use cycle lanes (with M5 road markings), as they are treated the same as any other traffic lane, so the following law applies:
Traffic Ordinance (1998:1276) chapter 3 section 7:
“When travelling on the road, vehicles shall be driven in the rightmost lane in the direction of travel intended for the vehicle.”

In any case, this is irrelevant for the tagging in OSM, which is only interested in whether drivers can use the lane. Cycleway:lane=exclusive means cyclists get exclusive use of the lane and cycleway:lane=advisory means it is only advisory for drivers not to use it.

In Sweden, a cycle lane (cykelfält) is defined by the Ordinance on Road Traffic Definitions (2001:651) as:
“A special lane designated by road markings for cyclists and riders of class II mopeds.”

I’m pretty sure this means you are not allowed to drive in it, although I am not a lawyer! This would mean it could be tagged as cycleway:lane=exclusive. However, as there is only one type of cycle lane in Sweden, there isn’t a need to differenciate the type, so this tagging is probably not needed anyway.

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I think this is almost universal in any law. Which is why the so called “advisory cycle lanes” that do exist in some countries and are explicitly not mandatory for use, are often implicitly mandatory after all, because cyclists need to keep as right as possible.
Of course, only as right as it is safe to do (doorzone). Cyclists are not forced to stay inside the markings of an advisory cycle lane that is too narrow.

Anyway, to the topic at hand, what actually exists in Sweden are Bygdeväg eller bymiljöväg (English: 2-1 roads). These markings are pretty much what advisory cycle lanes are about.

(And this is the reason why StreetComplete tags cycleway:lane=* also in Sweden, to differenciate normal cycle lanes from Bygdeväg eller bymiljöväg)

Again, as I already said, mandatory and advisory cycle lanes describe whether it is mandatory or advisory for motorists to not use the lane. It has nothing to do with whether cyclists have to use it.

The example of the type of lane you shared is tricky to tag as it is legally not a cycle lane, but it is clearly meant for use by cyclists. In the Netherlands and Belgium, these types of lanes are tagged with both cycleway=shared_lane and cycleway:lane=advisory.

I did some tagging of a Bygdeväg yesterday and while reading the Wiki page about cycleways, I drew the conclusion that most cycleway lanes in Sweden are cycleway:lane=advisory, because motorists can cross over them (but they have to yield when doing so)… unless there is a physical barrier as in your example from 6 Usher’s Quay. But with that said, cycleway lanes can generally not be used by motorists, as they are designated for cyclists and moped class II… which perhaps makes a case for them being cycleway:lane=exclusive.

But the shoulders of Bygdevägar are supposed to be used by motorists when meeting other motor vehicles in the opposite direction, so they are more clear-cut cycleway:lane=advisory.

Yes, they are exclusive even if cars may pass over while yielding to cyclists. This is normal, i.e. it is the case in other countries just the same.

In Germany, there can be exclusive cycle lanes in between car traffic lanes and parking lanes (street side parking), drawn with a continuous white line. Cars are still allowed to cross that line (yielding to cyclists) to enter and exit the parking of course.