Date announced for A21 public inquiry

A DATE for the public inquiry into the upgrading a section of the A21 which links Hastings and Battle to London has been announced.

The inquiry into upgrading the 2.5-mile Tonbridge to Pembury section from single to dual carriageway will start on May 14.

The single lane section between two dual carriageway sections is a well-known bottle neck and hold-up point on the A21.

Bexhill and Battle MP Greg Barker has welcomed the announcement.

He told the Observer: “I greatly welcome the recent announcement that the public enquiry on the dualling of the A21 between Pembury and Tonbridge will start on May 14.

“The A21 is a dangerous and notoriously unreliable road.

“But it is a vital road for people in the Battle area, our main link to the M25, London, the airports and beyond.

“The A21 group of local MPs and the county councils have been campaigning hard to improve this busy and all too often fatal road so this announcement is a big step forward.”

On March 25, the Highways Agency will be holding a pre-inquiry meeting at which the inspector will announce the procedure for submitting evidence.

The inquiry is expect to last for between two and three weeks.

If the dualling scheme gets the go-ahead, construction could start as early as 2015.

The A21 is one of the most dangerous roads in the country, between 2006 and 2010, there were 77 serious and fatal crashes on 14 miles of the road which equates to 5.5 accidents per mile.

This puts it at the top of the Road Safety Foundation’s league of Britain’s busy, higher risk roads.