Guide for the Design, Management and Delivery of Pilots and Trials on the Highways Agency Network: FAQs

This FAQ page is divided into four categories. Click a category to go straight to the correct section.

A - Applicability

B - Finance

C - Process

D - Outcome

A - Applicability

Who is the Guide for the Design, Management and Delivery of Pilots and Trials on the Highways England Network aimed at? The guide is aimed at all practitioners involved in the consideration, development, implementation or operation of pilots and trials that will potentially impact on the Highways England network.
The guide appears quite long: is there a concise version? No – but the executive summary provides an effective resumé of the content. Adobe Acrobat's simple and effective search capability can be used when the guide is downloaded in PDF format.
Do I need to apply the guide to trials that have already begun? Yes – if your pilot or trial has already begun you should apply the guide as it moves to the next stage in the process. However, you do not need to apply the guide retrospectively to stages already completed.
Do I need to fill in the PT1 form for the National Operations Group (NOG) if there is a trial organised by Department for Transport or another network operator, or a shared trial with the agency? Yes – if a pilot or trial impacts upon the Highways England network you must apply the guide. You will need to complete and submit a PT1 form to NOG.
Does the guide cover the ‘soft estate’ of the Highways England network? Yes – it covers the whole Highways England network, including the natural habitats that line motorways and trunk roads.
Does the guide apply to trials undertaken by the maintenance community? Yes – it applies to all work completed by or on behalf of Highways England. A prime aim is to share all lessons learnt more effectively.

B – Finance

Who will be paying for the implementation of the guide requirements? You should make full details of the costs of the implementation of a pilot or trial openly available. For example, you should include managing agents’ involvement in traffic management requirements for a pilot or trial.
Where will the resources to run a pilot or a trial come from? A pilot or trial is no different from any other project within Highways England. The funding and resources will be bid and allocated using standard Highways England procedures.
How do I complete the PT1 form for trials for which no Highways England funding is required (for example, if trials are paid for by a manufacturer)? The PT1 form should show Highways England costs only. Give details of any support funding in the associated business case.
Does the guide require the pilot or prial to look at value for moneyand affordability? Yes – value for money is one aspect that you should consider as part of the initial feasibility stage. You should review this, and the continuing affordability, throughout the duration of the pilot or trial.
When setting objectives, should I include all costs and risks, such as human resource requirements and the safety implications? Yes – you must include all potential costs and risks, including safety aspects, of a pilot or trial when setting the objectives.

C – Process

Who governs the process? Overall governance is provided by the National Operations Group (NOG).
How can I mitigate any adverse impacts of a pilot or trial? The development and the continuous review of a risk register is a requirement of the ongoing risk management strategic activity as detailed in the guide.
Why should I consider the roll-out of a pilot or trial during its initial stages? Because any pilot is expected to be implemented eventually across the wider Highways England network. You should consider the implications of the roll-out (for example, additional traffic officer resources) as part of the ongoing procurement and maintenance strategic activity.
Is there a methodology for the feasibility stage? There is no prescribed process, but the guide provides references to documents showing how feasibility studies have been conducted in the past.
Does the guide provide for a broader assessment approach to pilots and trials than a traditional economic appraisal (which might not result in the support of a new idea)? Yes – you should consider all impacts of the pilot or trial in the development of the assessment methodology, both financial and non-financial.
How should I manage a stakeholder who is an equal partner with an input to the project? Your stakeholder management strategy should consider how you will manage all stakeholders in a pilot or trial, including project partners and the end users.
What does the guide say about a pilot or trial's impact on other operators? You should develop a coordinated communication plan which considers how you will liaise with everyone impacted by a pilot or trial. This is an integral element of the stakeholder management strategic action area.
Why are there 'stop' points at the end of each stage? Reviews at the end of each stage provide an opportunity to consider what the pilot or trial has achieved so far. The project can report on progress and justify its continuation at a high level, if required.
Does the level of risk dictate the category of a pilot or trial? Yes – the level of impact on the Highways England network operations and business targets is the key determinant in the category definition of a pilot or trial. The higher the risk of such an impact, the higher the pilot or trial categorisation.
Does the guide tell us to look at whole-life costs? Yes – you should think about all aspects of the impact of a pilot or trial, including the whole-life costs. This should be one of the considerations within the procurement and maintenance strategic action area.
What is the change control process if I want to change the pilot or trial? You need to be aware of the implications of making any changes to the pilot or trial. The change control process is used to provide such an audit trail. Making any change may impact, for example on the pilot or trials objectives, and the change control process will assist in determining who needs to be advised.

D - Outcome

Where do I send the final results, and is it the same for all pilots and trials? You should submit the final reports for all pilots and trials for inclusion in the Higways England’s Research Compendium by emailing
How do we learn lessons from previous trials? Reports from previous pilots and trials will be accessible through Highways England’s Research Compendium.
What suggested outcomes or evidence must I produce to demonstrate that each stage of the pilot or trial has been completed? For each stage in the guide there is an output section. This details what typical outputs might be expected at the completion of each stage before starting the next.
Why is it necessary to define the end of a pilot or trial? Having a clear end point not only enables you to carry out a final assessment of the pilot or trial’s impact; it also allows handover to operational teams to start. Without a clear end point neither of these things can happen.
Trials often lead to a change in design standards, but it can take a long time to implement this change. How can implementation be speeded up? During the feasibility stage of a pilot or trials you should consider, in conjunction with the design standards team, all the supporting information that may be needed in case there is a change to design standards. You should keep in touch with the standards teams and keep collecting all the required information throughout the pilot or trial.
How can the guide ensure that the knowledge gained from a pilot or trial is shared and does not stay only with the team conducting the trial? The last stage of the guide requires that the lessons learnt from any pilot or trial, good or bad, are disseminated to the wider community.
Could this process lead to a delay in getting a good idea on the road? Perhaps – but the value is in providing information to a central point; that is, the National Operations Group and the wider Highways England community. Following the guide will help to ensure that the full benefits of good ideas are properly realised.