Press release

New photos show progress on A21 major improvements in Kent

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Aerial photos of the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury major improvement scheme have been released today (Thursday 4 June) by Highways England.

The advance work on the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury nearing completion

The pictures show recent progress on work to upgrade a 2.5 mile section of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent 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.

The pictures come at the same time as main construction work on the A21 is set to begin. A temporary 40mph speed limit will be introduced ahead of main construction, with overnight carriageway closures in place on Sunday 7 June. Advance work started in late 2014 and now the grade II listed buildings removal and ancient woodland translocation is nearing completion. The project is due to be completed by December 2016.

Anne-Marie Palmer, Highways England project manager said:

We are committed to providing the benefits of increased capacity, more reliable journeys and a safer route to the tens of thousands of drivers that use this stretch each day. We have been working hard behind the scenes getting ready for main construction and are still on target to complete the work by December 2016.

We have been continuing the environmental advanced works to ensure that we carry out these improvements to the highest environmental standards. Grade II listed buildings on the line of the new road have now been substantially removed and the ancient woodland translocation is close to completion. This allows us to continue with main construction.

The A21 runs through exceptionally beautiful and protected countryside, and has significant cultural heritage. As part of our commitment to carrying out these improvements we have removed an old barn to be preserved, translocated 9 hectares of ancient woodland to create 18 hectares and removed four grade II listed buildings on the line of the new road.

Balfour Beatty project manager Richard Turnbull added:

We have been undertaking various activities along the route. In addition to the environmental mitigation works mentioned above, we have also carried out archaeological investigation and utility diversions without the need for a temporary speed limit. As construction progresses, this will now be installed to protect drivers and our workforce. We ask drivers to respect the speed limit and the right turn bans whilst construction moves into this new and more obvious phase of the works.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 4 June 2015