Upgrade of the A21 between the A26 near Castle Hill and the Longfield road roundabout near Pembury to a dual carriageway standard. This is one of the most congested sections of road and is a high priority. Longfield road roundabout will be grade separated, giving access to a new regional hospital. This section of road, on average, carries 46,000 vehicles a day.
There will also be another minor road grade separated.
The bypass will be mostly online. An original plan was to re-align the road and make it a dual-carriageway with three lanes in each direction, however this was put off due to environmental concerns.
The bypass is one of the many schemes on the road which, when complete, will create a continuous dual-carriageway from the M25 to Hastings.
Public enquiry is due to take place in summer 2010.
The statutory processes for the upgrade will be held this September.
Draft Orders for the improvement were published on 11 December 2009. If required, a Public Inquiry will be held in Summer 2010.
A 2009 HA newsletter featuring more recent updates of the plan has been added to the site. Note: the scheme is incorrectly labelled the A27 so please ignore it.
The public enquiry has been postponed pending a financial review in the autumn.
Following the autumn spending review, the DfT has decided to continue preparatory work on this scheme, with a view to starting construction after 2015.
The start of development work was announced today.
Site clearance has now taken place and main construction will begin in early 2015 with completion by December 2016.
Part of the new road is now in use - the approach to Longfield Road roundabout from the north is carrying the A21 traffic rather than the previous tarmac. A nearby minor road has been closed due to rat-running and dangerous illegal right turns being made.
The works have been delayed as some of the soil has been contaminated with asbestos. Highways England now state that the work will not be finished until summer 2017, rather than spring.
Progress is being made but as at the end of April the two main bridge structures seem a long way short of being ready for a Summer 2017 opening.
The Longfield Road flyover is now open to traffic, though for the time being it is restricted to one lane in each direction.
- Highways England: A21 Tonbridge to Pembury Dualling
- Kent and Sussex Courier: Official timetable for A21 dualling announced
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With thanks to David Peek and Michael Pritchard for information on this page.