A21 is a shambles

It must be July Fools Day in Queens Road. Route 1066 - a ‘branding’ exercise which somehow attempts a massive spinfest to give the 25-mile cart track known as the A21 south of Tonbridge some weird kind of tourist appeal.

Two stretches of dual carriage way have been added in the last 30 years (Pembury and Lamberhurst) and another ludicrously downgraded to single carriageway (Flimwell). Otherwise that road is even more appalling today what with the huge increase in traffic which has jarred the people in charge into even more lethargy.

The A21 is a symbol of all that is wrong with this country’s infrastructure and the priorities of those who control the purse strings. 25 years ago people were shaking their heads at the Pembury bypass dual carriageway not being extended to Tonbridge. Finally - this common sense, glaringly obvious fill in will soon be done.

We have 3.5 miles of local link road being built, we also have a road network surrounding that gleaming addition that is pot holed, in poor condition and crying out for minor yet effective improvements such as roundabouts replacing junctions on The Ridge etc.

We have this unique ability to overlook the numerous, smaller infrastructure jobs that need doing while blowing big bucks (your bucks and mine) on flamboyant schemes. On a national scale we see this with the High Speed Rail 2 project - up to £50 billion over 15 years while countless, numerous, smaller but viable and worthwhile rail projects that have been promoted for years country wide remain unfunded. Local examples - electrification of Hastings to Ashford (though work may start in five years on that), new and reopened local stations, a new Eastbourne avoiding line that would knock half an hour off Brighton and Gatwick journey times - and that’s just in this neck of the woods.

How Hastings Borough Council can even think about associating an icon of local and central government incompetence, a road said to be amongst the most dangerous in the UK - with Hastings is surely beyond most locals! What next - adopt a pothole?

Simon Stoddart

Wellis Gardens

St Leonards