Visibility Research

CIHT has been awarded a grant of £100,000 by the Department for Transport to commission research into visibility splays at priority (major/minor) junctions, which will support the review and updating of guidance in Manual for Streets (MfS).

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CIHT has been awarded a £100k grant from the Department of Transport's road safety research fund. The road safety research fund supports research that: delivers evidence to promote casualty reduction​; develops new data sets to predict collisions​; and where the findings can be applied nationally​. 

The grant will be used to conduct research into visibility splays at priority (major/minor) junctions.

CIHT are pleased to announce that Atkins have been appointed to carry out a research project into Visibility and Road Safety at Road Junctions. The work which is supported by Road Safety research grant funding support from the Department for Transport, will be carried out over rest of this year.

Andrew Hugill, Director of Policy and Technical Affairs CIHT, said “We are pleased to be able, through the support of the Department of Transport, to undertake research into the role that visibility plays in safety at junctions. This will support our work on revising Manual for Streets which is currently underway.”

John-Paul Doherty, Atkins said "In 2019 there were over 24,000 collisions at priority junctions on low speed roads in GB. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the DfT and CIHT to understand how visibility at junctions influences collisions. A deeper understanding of the possible causes and factors leading to collisions at this common type of junction should lead to improved road safety, via a revised Manual for Streets."



Get involved

Atkins are currently carrying out a survey to understand CIHT member perspectives of Junction safety. The survey can be found at

Why conduct the research?

Junction visibility splays are a basic but fundamental aspect of highway engineering and most highway professionals consider that providing adequate visibility at priority junctions is vitally important to minimise collisions and casualties. However, since the publication of MfS in 2007 there has been uncertainty in the profession about the appropriate standards for visibility splays in some circumstances and the implications for road safety if they are not met.

This project will conduct research into this important issue with the objective of giving highway design professionals clear and evidence-based guidance.

Visibility splay requirements have a major bearing on the siting and design of new priority junctions and can be critical in determining whether a proposed junction, including to new developments, is acceptable. They can be the subject of intense debate around planning applications and at public inquiries involving the detailed assessment of traffic speeds and highway geometries.


Anticipated timeline 

Closing date for expressions of interest 

        1 September  2020        

Invitation to Tender issued 

        End September 2020    

Closing date for Tenders 

       Early November   2020

Project Award

       End November 2020     

Project Completion 

       End December 2021 


Webinar- Understanding CIHT's Research study into Visibility and Road Safety at Priority Junctions 17 July 2020



If you wish to get in contact about the visibility research please e-mail:


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