Update on A21 Dualling Project

by Katherine

Development of the new roads between Pembury and North Farm started in September 2014 by preparing the environment. The actual construction started in March 2015 and is currently in progress. The project deadline was forced back due to the revelation of 35000 tonnes of soil contaminated by Friable asbestos along with others forms of contamination that could have seriously damaged the surrounding environment. Before the building work could proceed, all of this had to be removed from the area, taking up time that was for work- therefore causing a hold up.

The ultimate final purpose of the project is to increase the safety of the area and roads around Pembury and North Farm industrial estate. It aims to reduce congestion by upgrading the roads from a single to dual carriageway. Students from year 8 effected by the roadworks feel it will improve their journey to and from school and have “high hopes” for the final result. This change will impact commuters travelling through Tunbridge Wells and Pembury, shortening their journey and creating a safer place to drive.

At our school year 11 students created group pieces of art to express how they felt about the road development, these decipting the omportance of safe roads effects on the environment.

The next stage of work is that continuing on drainage and construction of the new road for the eastern roundabout and southbound slip road. Proceeding with construction of the new Longfield Bridge and developing work on drainage and road pavement along the central section (Castle Hill to Pembury Walks). Continuing work on drainage and road pavement along the northern section (Vauxhall to Castle Hill).

The operation was originally due to finish in December 2016, but since the contamination was found and has been cleared, the deadline was pushed back to summer 2017. The company are certain the road is on schedule to finish on time which is excellent news for local commuters.