A21: Tonbridge to Pembury dualling
Between the M25 and Tonbridge, the A21 is a 2 lane carriageway with grade separated junctions, limited access and no central reserve gaps. Between Tonbridge and Pembury, this drops to single carriageway with poor horizontal and vertical alignment and many individual accesses to properties, farm fields and woodlands.
Around half way along the carriageway, there is a petrol station on the east side, and junctions with two minor roads either side. This causes traffic congestion and delays.
This single carriageway section of the A21 experiences severe congestion throughout the day - particularly at peak times.
We are creating a new dual carriageway with new junctions, including one by the petrol station. Parts of the existing A21 will be retained to provide access to houses, businesses, fields and woodland. We’ll provide a new bridleway for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders along the whole length of the scheme. We’ll also provide a new footbridge to replace an existing crossing. Taken as a whole, this work will relieve congestion, improve safety for all road users, and make journey times more reliable.
One important consideration is to minimise the impact on ancient woodland. Where loss is unavoidable, we are translocating and planting more woodland to compensate. This will be managed for 25 years. We’re creating new heathland too, to protect important habitats and natural heritage.
That’s not the limit of our environmentally-focused work on this project. We’re also introducing measures to mitigate the likelihood and impact of potential flooding in the area - great for road users and local residents alike. Humans aren’t the only beneficiaries, as we’re also providing a ‘hopover’ to protect the local bat population.
We’re putting down noise fences and earth mounds with planting, to ensure that everyone currently living close to the line of the existing A21 will experience a reduction in noise level. The same work will improve their view, too. What’s more, they can expect to see an improvement in air quality.