Crawler Lanes In Depth

What Is a Crawler Lane?

Crawler lanes or ‘Climbing lanes’ are lanes that can be found on steep gradients. Their purpose is to allow slower moving vehicles to be overtaken by faster moving vehicles. Very often, crawler lanes ( climber lanes) can be found on a motorway. However, there are often similar style lanes that can be found on single carriageways and dual-carriageways.

Faster moving vehicles can use the overtaking lane to pass slower moving vehicles. Very often, this includes lorries, buses, coaches, and HGV’s.

Crawler Lane Sign

The crawler lane road sign is normally blue in colour (motorway sign) and will state the word ‘crawler’ on the bottom of the sign. Accompanied with this is a picture of a slow moving vehicle such as a lorry, and an arrow directing the lorry to the ‘crawler lane’. Which is usually on the left-hand side.

Crawler Lanes On a Motorway

Crawler lanes on a motorway are designed to allow faster-moving traffic to pass a slow-moving vehicle. The right-hand lane next to the crawler lane will be used to pass the slow-moving vehicle travelling in the crawler lane. Although on most occasions, crawler lanes are specific lanes designed for motorways – crawler style lanes can still be found on single-carriageways and dual-carriageways in towns and urban areas.

How to Overtake on a Crawler lane

When it comes to overtaking, it is important to make sure your vehicle can gain enough power to get up the hill to pass slower moving vehicle’s on your left. If you are NOT able to pass quickly then you may obstruct the traffic.

Dependent on your vehicle’s ability to accelerate uphill will be dependent on how you can overtake. If you are NOT able to overtake, then perhaps you should be using the crawler lane yourself, which in turn, will enable other vehicles to pass you in the right-hand lane.

Useful Resources

Motorway driving 


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