National Highways. Touchscreen experience for stakeholder engagement

Touchscreen experiences  breathing life into planning schemes

Government-owned, National Highways is the UK’s leading highways business charged with keeping England’s major roads moving. National Highways’ key focus is on operating, maintaining, and improving motorways, and major A roads in England.

National Highways has been proposing a much-needed upgrade to the heavily congested A303 which runs through the Stonehenge UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most direct route between the southeast and southwest used by thousands of motorists daily.

With the proposed upgrade being multi-faceted and complex, highly technical information needed to be delivered in a simple, yet engaging way to an international audience, working for UNESCO, the British Embassy, and influential representatives from the global heritage sector.


Make it easy  for your audience

POP was approached by National Highways’ IT consultancy partner, MindCraft to create an interactive touchscreen experience to showcase the proposed scheme at a UNESCO event being held in Paris.

The experience needed to be visual in presenting the current reality, of the notoriously congested single carriageway and announcing the transformational benefits that the tunnel and improved connecting road would bring (as well as, addressing some of the challenges that would need to be faced along the way) to unlock economic growth and improve journey times for millions of people between the M3 and M5.

That’s a lot of information to cover and timescales were tight!

So, we set about creating it for them…

“The touchscreen was a great way of allowing people to self-guide through a wide range of content and information about the scheme, from photos, viewpoints, to detailed technical information. Along with other technology, it helped to bring our scheme alive and demonstrate better the benefits it will deliver and how we will respect the environment and the World Heritage status of the landscape.”
David Bullock, Project Manager for the A303 Stonehenge scheme
Large white interactive touchscreen in a meeting room with images of stonehenge, traffic and visitors, glass table in the background and chairs

Creating an experience with the audience at the heart

As one of the scheme’s key objectives is to conserve and enhance the World Heritage Site, POP’s first task was to work closely with the National Highways and MindCraft team to understand the differing needs of the niche audience at the UNESCO event and the multiple stakeholders involved, from the heritage bodies, local and regional businesses to the local communities.

Once the objectives were clearly defined, we forged ahead with creating the interactive experience. The no-code user-friendly POP platform was the perfect medium to build and present this complex and sensitive proposal; built from the ground up using the latest technology to create highly visual and immersive interactive digital experiences. The proposed scheme could be engaged in a new and exciting way but most importantly the right information could be found easily.


Large white interactive touchscreen in a meeting room with a map image of stonehenge and a road network

Visualising the story from the start

Using an Agile methodology, we work in a considered, iterative, and efficient way, that enables customers to preview the experience as its being built; ensuring they are getting exactly what they really need to tell their story and sell their vision.

Stakeholders said they were impressed with the ease of use, exploring a wealth of content at their leisure with interactive “before” and “after” maps providing quick and accurate access to technical information, videos, and supporting imagery. With the powerful Experience Management System (EMS) in place, information could be updated immediately, which is crucial in such a highly regulated sector.

The experience facilitated productive discussions and helped National Highways to communicate its vision effectively. Welcome news arrived in July with the green light for the A303 scheme being given and the Government reinstating the planning permission, the Development Consent Order.

“We couldn’t have done it without you. The experience was very intuitive. POPcomms are a really personable team, with engagement from day one, who delivered what we needed on time”
Hayley Boseley, Head of Projects and Transition, MindCraft

POPtastic Features

A central, content management system (CMS) and no code experience builder means National Highways can easily craft multiple tailor-made experiences for upcoming schemes, keeping a central control of messaging and a single source of truth with the CMS. AI automation allows the tool to be translated into any language for local customisation.

Working both online and offline, and being device agnostic there is never any need for National Highways to worry about Wi-Fi availability or accessibility. And, advanced analytics is the icing on the cake allowing National Highways to refine their strategies positioning schemes and measuring user engagement effectively.