Highways Agency pitch for PR review support

The Highways Agency is on the hunt for external support to carry out a widespread review of its comms function.

Corporate director Richard Thorndike and the Agency's head of comms John Murphy are seeking help to revamp its PR efforts.

This follows an extension of its powers last year when it became the Strategic Road Network operator.

While previously known as the government's road building and maintenance arm for trunk roads and motorways, its new powers include management of traffic and greater financial autonomy.

It is also tasked with looking at ways of reducing congestion and working towards integration with other forms of transport.

A spokeswoman said: 'We have changed so much and need a strategy that reflects that. It is important that the public is aware of the work that we are doing, including safety issues.'

She added that the comms team could be restructured as a result of the review.

The 12-strong corporate comms team is assisted by COI Communications' regional news network.

'It's important to have people in place that understand local issues,' she added.

Six agencies are understood to be involved in the pitch.

A current Highways Agency initiative is the creation of an emergency response service to speed up road repairs following accidents. This is already in place for the M25, and the north-west and will soon be launched in Birmingham.

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