HEARING the news that the Government has at last decided that investment in improving our crumbling infrastructure is actually good for the nation, it is time to welcome the funding of the replacement of the chronic stretch of A21 single carriageway between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge by-passes.
As we now have to go through the interminable delays as we hear about the threat to almost every living thing except the humans killed or maimed on that road, in time that will bring a massive ‘green’ relief in reduction in daily congestion costs, accidents and injury to travellers and an appalling fatality rate.
However, no doubt the vocal minority will force the big majority into silence once again, but given an even chance we might actually see the costs in wasted fuel, repairs to vehicles and the enormous hospital bills of injured, dead or dying reduced.
And that signal has to be the one that triggers the planning design and construction of the crucial link between the A21 at Baldslow and Queensway, as the next stage of the Hastings-Bexhill traffic relieving work.
That cannot be the end of the story as the main stretch of A21 from Kippings Cross into St Leonards proves on a daily basis is killing so much economic development in East Sussex in general, Hastings in particular.
All it seems that we get from Central Government and the Highways Agency are tinkerings with this key road. Agreed much of the road has been resurfaced and marked to comply with current standards - but that now notorious side walk at Vinehall is a classic example of knee jerk decision without proper thought. Safer for pedestrians, agreed - if there are any.
But the effect on the A21 junction with the Rye turn-off, a notoriously difficult hazard with very poor sightlines, apparently has not been taken into account.
The ability of articulated lorries to enter the A21 has been severely compromised as the new side walk will not accommodate that turning traffic safely. So more money soon will be demanded in having to redesign the junction.
Pressing for a new alignment of the A21 is the only effective solution to this and many other of the black spots on this worn out antiquated road - and we deserve better.
Richard Tilden Smith