Department for Transport - Highways England (various projects)

Programme details


Department for Transport - Highways England (various projects)
Formerly Highways Agency
United Kingdom
Programme type: Funding organisation
Origin: National (United Kingdom)
Duration: 1994 - Ongoing
  • Outline
  • Funding
  • Projects
  • Contact
Background & policy context: 

The Highways Agency, established in 1994, is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. The Secretary of State for Transport is responsible for overall Government policy on motorways and trunk roads in England and determining the strategic framework and the financial resources within which it operates. The Highways Agency is the road network operator for England: managing the traffic using English roads and administering the network as a public asset. In 2015 the Highways Agency was replaced by Highways England.

The strategic road network operated by the Highways Agency is the single largest Government asset comprising 9 380km / 5 863 miles of motorways and trunk roads.

The Highways Agency regards research as the key source of new ideas, knowledge, tools and technologies that drive forward innovative solutions to customer needs. Research is guided by a strategy developed in consultation with other government departments, industry and road users. A £12 million programme of about 200 projects is split into 3 themes.

Strategic Objectives: 

The objectives are stated in relation to each of the three themes, as follows:

Civil Engineering: to provide specialist advice, and represent the Agency on committees and at international meetings related to Civil Engineering. It is responsible for civil engineering policy, standards and specifications.

Traffic Safety & Environment: to provide specialist advice, and represent the Agency on committees and at international meetings related to traffic, safety and the environment. It is responsible for safety and environment policy, standards and specifications.

Traffic Systems & Signing is responsible for developing and piloting new traffic systems for development on the trunk road network, improving traffic management techniques at roadworks and helping to develop signing strategies. It is also responsible for operational support for the motorway communications system.

Programme organisation: 

The organisation and policy context is defined by the three themes and their scope, as follows:

Civil Engineering:

  • Contracts & Specification
  • Geotechnical & Ground Engineering
  • Pavement Engineering
  • Structures Design Management

Traffic Safety & Environment:

  • Emissions & Pollution 
  • Landscape & Cultural Heritage 
  • Horticulture & Nature Conservation 
  • Safety, Layout & Vehicle Restraint 
  • Traffic Appraisal, Modelling & Economics

Traffic Systems & Signing:

  • Strategic Network Control & Driver Information 
  • Tactical Network Control & Traffic Modelling 
  • Technology Pilots 
  • Network Control Programme & Strategy 
  • Signs Team 
  • Traffic Management & Safety at Roadworks
Leading Institutions:

Public institution

Type of funding: 
Public (national/regional/local)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions: 

Funding for the Highways Agency research is on-going and financed by the UK government. The research may be carried out directly by government agencies or commissioned to be carried out by contractors, both academic and non-academic.

Programme budget 2003-4: £12.0 million (excl. VAT)

Participating countries: 
United Kingdom
Total number of projects: 


Projects covered: 

Examples of recent projects include:

  • Sustainability of Highways Work
  • Rapid Assessment Techniques for Soil & Earthworks
  • Delays and diversions at longer term roadworks on busy motorways
  • The affect of road appearance on perceived safe speed limits
  • VMS research and policy development
Project Profiles:
  1. A study of abnormal loading
  2. Accident cluster analysis optimisation
  3. Accidents and Incidents at Roadworks
  4. Achieving best value through pavement maintenance monitoring
  5. Acoustic Emission For Hinge Decks
  6. Acoustic performance and viability of vegetated barriers
  7. Acoustic performance of road surfaces
  8. Acoustic Performance of Surface Treatments
  9. Acoustic Performance of Timber Barriers
  10. Air pollution dispersion monitoring
  11. Alternative Detector Technologies
  12. Alternative textures for concrete roads
  13. Analysis of over-representation of high-risk age groups in road traffic incidents
  14. Application and performance of roundabout lighting
  15. Applications for satellite remote sensing
  16. Assessment Loading for Specific Vehicles
  17. Assessment of driver stress
  18. Assessment of the benefits of noise absorbent materials
  19. Assessment of Trunk Road Calming using Driver Simulator
  20. Assessment Of Wireless Lan Technology In The Roadside Environment
  21. ATM Journey Time Predictor Trial
  22. Blight and its assessment
  23. Calculation of traffic noise from widened motorways
  24. Calibration of disparate congestion indicator data
  25. Capacity and safety improvements through dynamic speed control on motorways
  26. Causes of congestion
  27. Chalk hydrogeology and flood protection
  28. Characterisation of Particulate Pollution
  29. Close following vehicle accidents - phase two
  30. Close-Following Vehicle Accident Study
  31. Co-Ordination of Ramp Metering
  32. Community effects of congestion and its relief - final phase
  33. Competence of Pavement Assessment Techniques - Phase 3
  34. Competence of Pavement Assessment Techniques - Phase 4
  35. Congestion Plans: Hard-shoulder Detectors
  36. Consolidation of Whole Life Value of Highway Surfacing
  37. Contaminated Land, Potential Implications of the Environment Act 1995 and App.Risk M'ment
  38. Continued Specimen Monitoring
  39. Continuously reinforced concrete pavements
  40. Control of pollution from highway drainage discharges
  41. Control of traffic on the approach to merges at roadworks
  42. Control of traffic speed through roadworks
  43. Controlled motorways - development of algorithm
  44. Cost 341: Habitat Fragmentation due to Linear Transport Infrastructure
  45. Cost effectiveness of MIDAS
  46. Cost implications of changes in the Noise Insulation Regulations
  47. Crash cushions
  48. Crash cushions for mobile lane closures
  49. Cycle track, footway and maintenance research
  50. Day/night capacity modelling
  51. De-icing of modern surfaces
  52. Definitive Vehicle Wear Evaluation
  53. Delays and Diversions at Longer Term Roadworks on Busy Motorways
  54. Development of a pilot virtual reality design model
  55. Development of a Pilot Virtual Reality Highway Design Model
  56. Development of an HA speed limit strategy
  57. Development of communication standards for dissemination of traffic information
  58. Development of Control Strategy for Advanced Traffic Management (ATM)
  59. Development of Operational Regimes and the Assessment Strategy for the ATM Pilot
  60. Development of Simulation Strategies for Traffic on Motorways (SISTM) Software
  61. Development of strategic control and driver information
  62. Displaced Right Turn Signal Junctions
  63. Divine Development - Vehicle Infrastructure Systems
  64. DMRB Environmental Review
  65. Driver Behaviour at Congested Merges Under Congested Conditions
  66. Driver information - traffic status forecasting
  67. Durability Of Concrete Pavements Surfaced With Thin Asphalt
  68. Durability of Quieter Surfacings
  69. Ecological design and management: Mitigation of effects on SSSI, NNR and other sites
  70. Ecological Impact of Highway Runoff - Phase 2
  71. Ecological impact on receiving waters of highway surface water run-off
  72. Effect of highway drainage on pavement longevity
  73. Effectiveness of combined noise mitigation measures
  74. Effectiveness of variable message signs
  75. Effects of road surfaces on road lighting parameters
  76. Effects of Soluble Pollutants on Ecology of Receiving Waters
  77. Element and System Risk Considerations in Bridge Management
  78. Enhanced visualisation in scheme planning and design
  79. Enhancement Of Micro Management Model SISTM For ATM
  80. Environmental impact and safety of highway tunnels
  81. Equipment maintenance and safe operation of highway tunnels
  82. Euro VMS Platform Support
  83. European Skid Resistance Index and Skid Resistance Standards
  84. Examination of the 68dB(A) qualifying level in the Noise Insulation Regulations
  85. Exploitation of Traffic Control Centre (TCC) Data
  86. Extension to vegetative barrier project
  87. Factors affecting statistical measurements of vehicle noise
  88. Factors affecting the perception of noise
  89. Fate of Highways Contaminants in Unsaturated Zone - Phase 1
  90. Fibre Optic Detection Pilot
  91. Footbridges to Encourage Walking
  92. Footway Maintenance Research
  93. Foresight Vehicle
  94. Freight Interchange Location Study - Phase 2
  95. Further Research on the Assessment of Controlled Motorways
  96. Future Antenna Technologies for Cars and Trucks
  97. General application of Kent corridor techniques
  98. Geometric requirements for safer dual carriageways
  99. Grade separated junctions: effect of lane drop - lane gain on capacity
  100. Hardshoulder Detection System
  101. Heavy goods vehicle effects including lane distribution
  102. High speed lighting monitor
  103. High-speed Road Monitor: calibration methods and sites
  104. Highway network whole life cost model
  105. Highways Agency Vision 2030
  106. Identification of traffic patterns
  107. Impact of Reduced Emissions upon Air Quality
  108. Impact of reduced vehicle emissions on air quality
  109. Impact of Roads on Kestrels, Red Kite and Buzzards
  110. Impact of Roads on Reptiles
  111. Impact of Sustainability Issues on Asphalt Pavements
  112. Improved Determination Of Pollutants In Highway Runoff - Phase 2
  113. Improved Risk Assessment for Surface Condition
  114. In-Route Safety Modelling
  115. Incident Detection and Management on Dual 5 and 6 Lane Carriageways
  116. Influencing Driver Behaviour to Improve Junction Safety
  117. Infra-red Detection of Delaminated Concrete
  118. Innovative Delivery Of Digital CCTV Images
  119. Innovative European Traffic Management Techniques
  120. Innovative Traffic Management Technique/Product Assessment
  121. Integration of strategic and tactical control
  122. Integration of Whole Life Costing of Road Features
  123. Intelligent Routing and Diversion Strategies
  124. Intelligent Vehicle - Intelligent Roads: Road Traffic Advisor
  125. Introduction of Herbaceous Plants to Roadside Woodlands
  126. Investigation and control of contaminants and ground water during highway construction
  127. Investigation of de-icing and snow clearance within traffic calming areas
  128. Investigation of network performance prediction
  129. Journey Time Prediction
  130. Landscape Assessment
  131. Laser Scanning for Police Accident Investigations
  132. Lightweight Gantry - Support to ATM
  133. Location Referencing - methodology for date exchange
  134. Long Term Safety & Effectiveness Study - Safety Messages On Variable Message Signs (VMS)
  135. Longitudinal variation in road surface texture and noise
  136. Loss Of Retro-Refectivity (Dew Formation On Signs) Stage 1
  137. Low Humidity Salting
  138. Low Level Monitoring of M25 Controlled Motorway
  139. M25 controlled motorway monitoring
  140. M42 Advanced Traffic Management Monitoring
  141. M6 Ramp Metering Renewal - Assessment Of Benefits
  142. Maintenance of Footways and Cycleways
  143. Maintenance techniques to minimise traffic disruption
  144. Major-minor priority junction accident studies
  145. Management of 4-lane and 5-lane carriageway motorways
  146. Management of motorways in urban areas: integrated network control
  147. Managing Travel Demand Portfolio
  148. Mathematical models for barriers
  149. Mathematical Models for Noise Prediction
  150. Means of Reducing Pollution From Gully Pots and Catch Pits
  151. Measurement Of Microtexture At Traffic Speed To Predict Skid Resistance
  152. Mobile lane closures - new warning devices
  153. Modified Noise Barriers
  154. Monitoring Integrity of Road Studs: Implementation Study
  155. Monitoring journey time reliability
  156. Monitoring Of Sediment Loads
  157. Monitoring of the M6 MORSE Scheme
  158. Monitoring Pollution From Highways
  159. Monitoring the effect on safety of reduced width lanes
  160. Monitoring the safety and performance of widened motorways
  161. Motorway junction layouts to increase capacity and safety at low cost
  162. Motorway junctions II
  163. Motorway network modelling and on-line control
  164. Motorway Signalling Triple Package Benefits Update
  165. National Wildlife Road Casualty Survey
  166. Network performance monitoring - further development
  167. Network Wide Classification of Noise Impacts
  168. New Designs for Sustainable Long Life Roads
  169. New Materials for Sustainable Long Life Roads
  170. Noise barrier performance
  171. Nuisance from noise changes: effects of starting level
  172. Objective Determination of MIDAS Parameters
  173. On-line strategy for traffic control on networks
  174. On-The Spot Accident Data Collection - Phase 2
  175. On-The-Spot Accident Data Collection
  176. Operation of Regional Traffic Control Centres
  177. Optimising the Returns from Long Life Roads
  178. Outward facing research managing travel demand
  179. Overtaking behaviour and safety on single carriageway roads
  180. Pavement Whole Life Costing for New Roads
  181. Pedestrian refuges on motorways
  182. Perception of noise from concrete and bituminous road surfacings
  183. Performance indicator technologies
  184. Performance of the motorway and all-purpose trunk road network
  185. Performance of variable message signs in adverse weather conditions
  186. Pre-Trip Journey Time Variability Information For Road Users
  187. Prediction of duration and management of incidents
  188. Predictions of changes in emissions from new road schemes
  189. Prevention and removal of ice and snow on roads
  190. Price trend forecasting
  191. Quieter Concrete Roads
  192. Reducing the environmental impact of road pavement construction
  193. Relationship between low and high-speed skidding resistance
  194. Relaxation of design criteria for the assessment of highway bridges
  195. Remarking lanes to extend pavement life by moving the wheelpaths
  196. Remote sign changing systems
  197. Research existing and next generation radio broadcast technology
  198. Research into Internet radio broadcast technology
  199. Review of cultural Heritage Input into Environmental Impact Assessment
  200. Review of Flooding Incidents on the Network
  201. Revision of CRTN - Phase II
  202. Revision to DMRB air quality screening method for use in GIS
  203. Revision to the Calculation of Road Traffic Noise
  204. Revisions to BS5400 Part 3
  205. Riverbank foot/cycle paths under River Bridges
  206. Road Network Serviceability
  207. Road Price Trend Forecasting Model
  208. Road safety audit evaluation
  209. Road-Over-Road Risk Assessment Tool
  210. Roadworks signs at night
  211. Roundabout capacity studies
  212. Roundabout Lighting: Applications and Performance
  213. Safety and effectiveness of the wider use of variable message signs
  214. Safety aspects of road edge drainage features
  215. Safety Strategy Phase 2
  216. Secondary effects of driver information on traffic control strategies
  217. Simplification of traffic management and signing at road works - trials
  218. Simplification of traffic management signing at roadworks
  219. Skidding resistance policy review
  220. Smart Roads - Trials
  221. Smart roads: monitoring conditions using new technology
  222. Statistical Study of Accidents at Roadworks
  223. Study into the Causes and Implications of Accidents at Road Works
  224. Study of accidents to personnel involved in construction and maintenance work
  225. Study Of Separation Of Cyclists And Pedestrians
  226. Study of Traffic Accidents Involving Goods Vehicles
  227. Sustainable Geotechnics
  228. Tactical Control and Automatic Incident Detection
  229. Tests for road foundation design and assessment
  230. The advantages of a road innovation charter to the UK
  231. The Affect of Road Appearance on Perceived Safe Speed Limits
  232. The effect of M25 speed restrictions on emissions
  233. The effect of vegetation on the perception of traffic noise
  234. The Improved Determination of Pollutants in Highway Runoff - Phase 1
  235. The Influence of Pavement Construction on Vehicle Fuel Economy - Stage 1
  236. The mobile lane closure technique
  237. The revision of the calculation of road traffic noise: Phase II
  238. Total energy input into road construction
  239. Traffic Information Highway
  240. Traffic management using VMS in the Kent Corridor
  241. Traffic Status Forecasting - extension to N514 Driver information
  242. Traffic-speed condition survey
  243. Trafficking of hardened shoulders and safe havens
  244. Travel Information Highway (TIH) Development and Promotion
  245. Travel Information Services
  246. Travel Of Errant Vehicles After Leaving The Carriageway
  247. Trial of Abnormal Loads (Abnormal Loads System Trial)
  248. Trials of Renewable Energy Generation in Highway Situations
  249. TSE Outward Facing Research: Managing Integration
  250. TSS Outward Facing Research - Managing Integration
  251. TSS Outward Facing Research - Managing Travel Demand
  252. Tunnel Lighting Simulation
  253. Tyre/road noise collaboration
  254. Understanding Travel Behaviour - portfolio
  255. Understanding why objects are thrown at traffic
  256. Unregulated compounds in the roadside environment
  257. Update of DMRB Volume 11: Cultural Heritage Advice
  258. Urban accident prediction routines in PICADY
  259. Use of concrete pavements for motorway widening and strengthening
  260. Use of cuttings to reduce traffic noise
  261. Use of retro-reflective materials for permanent signs
  262. Use of soil additives on enhancing performance of structural applications
  263. Vehicle recovery at roadworks
  264. Vehicle tracking using cellular phones
  265. Vehicle: Road: Tyre Interaction and road safety
  266. Video Image Processing Exploitation Of Distributed Digital Video
  267. Visual needs of urban road users at night
  268. VMS Policy Development: Graphical Congestion Display
  269. Wear effects of traffic - dynamic effects
  270. Whole life cost model for maintenance
Contact Name: 
The Highways Agency
Room 403, City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza
M1 4BE
Contact country: 
United Kingdom
+44 8459 55 65 75
Fax Number: 
+44 (0) 161 930 5713