The decision, announced by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill, follows a public inquiry that was 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 fivefold 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.
Following today’s announcement, the Highways Agency will now complete the processing of legal documents and will appoint a contractor for the scheme. Advance work could start in autumn 2014 with main construction as early as spring 2015.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer