The head of the RAC Foundation and a former Director General at the Department for Transport, Steve Gooding, has criticised the “eye-watering” cost of rebranding Highways England to National Highways.
The website Construction News has discovered through a Freedom of Information request that the rebrand is set to cost the taxpayer nearly £402,000 in total
It says so far the revamp has cost around £56,000, but that between £200,000 and £300,000 has been earmarked for updates to the IT systems which are “ongoing”. That includes updating email addresses, public websites and internal and external systems.
Furthermore the website says that, while National Highways will not be updating its signs at major projects to reflect the latest name change, it has included a reserve of £25,000 “should signage for specific schemes need to be updated”.
It quotes Steve Gooding as saying taxpayers feeling the full force of increases to fuel costs and household bills would be asking “what the compelling justification was for this expenditure”.
“Even if the rebranding might conceivably have been worthwhile, if covered as part of business-as-usual activity, funded from existing budgets, one has to ask whether those existing budgets couldn’t be better spent than on an eye-watering £200,000-£300,000 just to make changes to email addresses and websites,” he said.
Construction News also spoke to Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Sarah Olney who told it, “At a time when so many roads are littered with potholes and frankly falling apart, this rebrand is an astonishing waste of time and money.”
(Picture – National Highways)