A21 Tonbridge to Pembury duallingRecently updated

Upgrade of the A21 to a 2 lane carriageway between Tonbridge and Pembury.

Region:  South East
Start date:  April 2015
Cost:  £69.7 million
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  Summer 2017
Programme:  

What impact will this have on my journey?

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Traffic England

Progress report



Southern Section (Pembury Walks to south of Longfield Road

We are continuing our work on the construction of the new pavement for the eastern roundabout and both the north and southbound slip roads, as well as work on the new Longfield Bridge structure.

Central Section (Castle Hill to Pembury Walks)

We are working on drainage and earthworks along this section and also around the new Fairthorne junction. We will also be working on the Fairthorne bridge construction and continuing with the pavement installation.

Northern Section (Vauxhall to Castle Hill)

We are continuing to clear earth to the central and southern sections and working on drainage and installing the road pavement.

What next?

The next stage of work will involve the following:
  • commence fencing
  • continue with new road building
  • continue earth retaining work at Castle Hill
  • continue building bridge abutments for both Fairthorne and Longfield Road bridges


Timeline

Date Event
December 2009 Orders published
October 2010 Spending review
May 2012 Funding announced
May 2013 Public inquiry
May 2014 Secretary of State announcement
April 2015 Start of works
Summer 2017 End of works

Why we need this scheme

Between the M25 and Tonbridge the A21 is a 2 lane carriageway standard with grade separated junctions, limited access and no central reserve gaps. Between Tonbridge and Pembury the standard drops to single carriageway with poor horizontal and vertical alignment and many individual accesses to properties, farm fields and woodlands. Approximately half way along the scheme there is a petrol station on the east side and junctions with two minor roads, Dislingbury Road and Pembury Walks, either side of the petrol station. This causes traffic congestion and delays on the A21, particularly due to right turning traffic. There are no footways and verges are either very narrow or non-existent. This single carriageway section of the A21 experiences severe congestion throughout the day and particularly at peak times and has a poor accident record with an average accident rate (expressed as accidents per million vehicle kilometres) about 20% higher than the default value for a road of this type.

The scheme in details

The new dual carriageway will broadly follow the line of the existing A21 with a new junctions at Fairthorne (by the petrol station) and at Longfield Road, replacing the existing roundabout at the southern end of the scheme. At the northern end, there will be a minor change to the line of the slip road from the Vauxhall Lane roundabout where it joins the A21. Parts of the existing A21 will be retained to provide access to houses, businesses, fields and woodland. A new bridleway for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will be provided along the whole length of the scheme. A new footbridge will be provided across the Pembury Bypass at Blackhurst Lane, replacing the existing crossing.

Aims

The main objectives of the scheme are to:
  • relieve congestion
  • improve safety for all road users
  • improve journey time reliability
The environmental objectives of the scheme are to:
  • mitigate the impact of the scheme on the AONB
  • minimise the adverse impact on the RSPB reserve and the Scheduled Ancient Monument
  • minimise the impact on ancient woodland

Environmental impact

We have surveyed the local area to assess the effect the scheme will have on the landscape and on plant and animal life. The results of the surveys and the measures we propose for reducing the effect of the scheme are contained in the envrionmental statement and are summarised in the non technical summary of the environmental statement. The link to these documents can be found on the ‘publications’ tab. During construction we will use best practice to safeguard the local environment and will plan the construction works to minimise adverse effects on the local community and the environment.

Ancient woodland

The scheme entails the unavoidable loss of 9Ha of ancient woodland for which 18Ha of translocated and planted woodland will be provided in mitigation. These areas will be managed for 25 years. In addition, 27Ha of existing woodland will be managed for 10 years while the new planting becomes established.

Local communities and land use

Parts of the existing A21 will be retained to provide access to houses, businesses, fields and woodland. Earthmounds and planting will be used to screen the A21 from properties, with noise fences included where they will be effective. The scheme will require additional land, most of which is good quality arable farmland or woodland. Four houses and 1 barn will need to be demolished to build the scheme. A new route for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will be provided along the length of the scheme, and an additional pedestrian and cycle bridge provided at Blackhurst Lane to facilitate access to Pembury Hospital.

Noise and vibration

Noise fences and earth mounds with planting will be provided to ensure that all residences currently close to the line of the existing A21 experience a reduction in noise level. Other areas further away from the A21 may experience a negligible increase in noise levels.

Air quality

The majority of affected residential properties may experience improved local air quality as a result of the scheme proposals and because of the reduced traffic congestion. Air pollutant concentrations at properties near to the road will not exceed the levels that are set to protect human health.

Landscape

Substantial areas of trees, shrubs and grassland will be planted, with the intention of fitting into the existing pattern of hedgerows, woodlands and pasture fields. Native species that are local to the area will be used where possible. The new junctions and road bridges will initially be intrusive features of the scheme but over time the extensive planting will create effective screening.

Wildlife and nature conservation

The Tonbridge to Pembury section of the A21 comprises a variety of habitats including woodland, hedgerows, grassland, streams and ponds. Protected species found during our surveys include bats, dormice, badgers, breeding birds, great crested newts and reptiles. Although areas of woodland will be lost to the scheme, a wide variety of mitigation measures have been included to limit or compensate these impacts. The project team has consulted with statutory bodies to ensure that with mitigation the long-term effects on most species will be neutral, and the character of the landscape preserved.

Water

The existing water environment will be protected by using drainage balancing and treatment ponds and facilities to contain pollutants. These measures will improve the quality of the water draining from the road system and ensure that there will be no increased risk of flooding in the area.

Historic environment

The scheme runs through the High Weald an area inhabited by man for at least 6000 years. There is evidence of Iron Age, Roman and Medieval activity in the wider landscape. The High Weald landscape is formed of small fields and woodlands dating from Medieval and Saxon periods and the scheme has been designed to retain this historic form of the landscape. So that the scheme has no effect on the Castle Hill Iron Age hillfort it will be necessary to demolish a Grade II listed farmhouse and barn. As a condition of the planning consent we will photograph and record the buildings before demolition and the barn will be carefully taken down and re-erected at a historic buildings museum. The farmhouse itself is not unique and has been altered a lot during its lifetime, so does not warrant re-erection.

Archaeology

Castle Hill brickworks preservation by record, where we photographed, sketched and recorded in detail our findings was completed.

Project media files

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Period : expect disruption until 22:00 on 21 January 2017. Status : Currently Active. Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J5 . Lanes Closed : There is one of three lanes closed. Reason : Bridge repairs.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 6:21 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M20 westbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 24 January 2017 to 06:00 on 25 January 2017. Location : The A21 northbound between the junctions with the A262 and the A228 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 20 February 2017 to 23 February 2017. Location : The M26 eastbound between junctions J2A and J3 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Period : from 00:53 on 9 January 2017 to 06:00 on 20 September 2017. Location : The A21 northbound between the A228 and the junction with the A26 Tonbridge East. Status : Currently Active. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M20 westbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 10:00 on 23 January 2017 to 06:00 on 23 March 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 24 January 2017 to 06:00 on 25 January 2017. Location : The A21 northbound between the junctions with the A268 and the A262 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 27 January 2017 to 06:00 on 28 January 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J2 and J4 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J5 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 15:30 on 31 January 2017 to 10:00 on 5 February 2017. Reason : Bridge repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Period : from 00:54 on 9 January 2017 to 06:00 on 20 September 2017. Location : The A21 southbound between the A26 and the junction with the A228 . Status : Currently Active. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 23:00 on 23 January 2017 to 05:00 on 24 January 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J4 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 28 January 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J5 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Bridge repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J5 . Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:30 and 15:30 from 30 January 2017 to 31 January 2017. Reason : Bridge repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 27 January 2017 to 06:00 on 28 January 2017. Location : The M20 westbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 20 February 2017 to 23 February 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J4 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 23 January 2017 to 25 January 2017. Location : The M20 westbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 20 February 2017 to 06:00 on 21 February 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J5 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J2 and J4 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 10:00 on 23 January 2017 to 06:00 on 23 February 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 23:00 on 24 January 2017 to 05:00 on 25 January 2017. Location : The M20 eastbound between junctions J3 and J4 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 30 January 2017 to 2 February 2017. Location : The M26 westbound between junction J2A and the M25 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm

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