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A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement

A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement

Located in
Area 4Map of the Agency's Operational Areas
Scheme type
Programme of Major SchemesRoad Schemes Managed by the Highways Agency
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The Project

In his announcement on the Access to Hastings Multi-modal Study made on 12 July 2001 the Secretary of State for Transport accepted the need for upgrading the heavily congested section of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury and asked the Highways Agency to prepare a draft programme of works to identify other improvements on the A21 to alleviate congestion, safety and accessibility problems in the villages along the route.

Following a public consultation exercise at the end of 2002 a preferred route for the A21Tonbridge to Pembury Dualling was announced in July 2003. A public consultation exercise was held between November 2002 and March 2003 on improvements between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst and between Flimwell and Robertsbridge, together with a strategy for upgrading the remainder of the route. A preferred route for the A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement was announced in May 2004 and for the A21 Flimwell to Robertsbridge Improvements in February 2005.

The 2004 Government Spending Review identified the A21as a Category 2 (regional) trunk road and in October 2005 the South East England Regional Assembly's Regional Transport Board, in its advice on transport investment priorities, included the A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement scheme for a start of works in 2011/12.

The A21 links the Hastings/Bexhill and Tunbridge Wells/Tonbridge conurbations to the M25 and the trunk road network. Between the M25 and Tonbridge the A21 is a dual 2-lane carriageway standard with grade separated junctions, limited access and no central reserve gaps. South of Tonbridge, with the exception of the Pembury Bypass and the Lamberhurst Bypass, the remainder of the route to Hastings is mainly single carriageway with poor horizontal and vertical alignment.

The Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst section has a high accident rate and congestion occurs particularly at peak times. There are no footways on this section and the verges are either very narrow or non-existent. The route alignment is poor and there are numerous frontages with direct access to the trunk road. The narrow verges limit visibility and this, combined with the numerous bends and crests, limits safe overtaking opportunities.

The existing A21 corridor between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst passes through a very environmentally sensitive area with landscape, cultural heritage, ecological and settlement issues being key constraints to route improvements. The entire route is within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and being an historic route, largely follows the landform.

The proposed improvement broadly follows the line of the existing A21and will be to dual 2-lane carriageway standard. It commences at the southern end of the Pembury Bypass and terminates at the northern roundabout of the Lamberhurst Bypass. The existing road will remain open throughout to maintain access to properties and farms along the route.

The tender process for the A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement and the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury Dualling began with invitations to tender in March 2007. The tender was cancelled in August 2008 due to uncertainty about affordability of the South East Regional Roads Programme. Ongoing support was confirmed by the Regional Transport Board (RTB) in February 2009 with a programme start date in 2012/2013.