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A dual carriageway, or divided highway, is a road with a dividing strip between opposing traffic flows. The dividing strip is called the central reservation.

You must not reverse or turn on a dual carriageway or cross the central reservation, or drive against the traffic.

Even if you missed your turning or have taken the wrong route you must carry on until you reach the next junction.

On a two-lane carriageway, drive in the left-hand lane except when overtaking.

On a three-lane carriageway the normal ‘Keep to the left’ rule still applies. You may, however, stay in the middle lane when there are slower vehicles in the left-hand lane, but you should return to the left-hand lane after passing them. Do not stay in the middle lane unnecessarily.

The right-hand lane is intended for overtaking only. If you use it, move back to the middle lane and then into the left-hand lane as soon as you can, but without cutting in.

At some junctions the right-hand lane may be used by right-turning traffic.

Dual carriageway ahead

Road Sign

A sign can usually be seen in advance of a dual carriageway. A dual carriageway road may cross the road you are on or your road may become a dual carriageway road.