Plan to widen the A21 is given the go-ahead by Whitehall

MOTORISTS travelling between Hastings and London were given cause to celebrate after a scheme to widen a notorious section of the A21 was given the green light.

It was confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that the much-needed scheme to provide vital extra capacity on the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury will go ahead.

The decision, announced by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill, follows a public inquiry held in May 2013.

A 2.5 mile section of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent will be upgraded from single to dual carriageway, adding a lane in each direction, upgrading junctions and improving the road layout.

The major road scheme will make journeys on the A21 safer and more reliable and deliver a five-fold return on investment for the UK economy.

Road Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This is great news not only for residents and businesses who use the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury, but also for the local economy.

“The next steps demonstrate the Government’s clear £15.1 billion commitment to our road network in boosting capacity on our motorways and major trunk roads by 2021.”

Highways Agency project manager Graham Link said: “The A21 is a vital route linking the Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells and Hastings/Bexhill areas to the M25 and London.

“The new section will provide much needed capacity to reduce congestion and will also improve safety with new junctions provided and a better road layout.”

The A21 upgrade is one of six major road schemes that the Highways Agency is developing for delivery after 2015 and is in addition to the 24 major road projects on England’s motorways and major A roads being delivered between 2010 and 2015. Advance work could start in autumn with main construction as early as next spring.