MP takes A21 debate to Government's top brass
POLITICIANS battling for the A21 widening are set to take their fight to the top.
The Courier can reveal Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is due to meet with the Chancellor and the country's second highest-ranking transport chief to discuss the scheme.
George Osborne and Mike Penning have agreed to meet Mr Clark, who has backed the Courier's A21 For 2016 campaign, to discuss the public inquiry which must be completed before work can begin to dual the road.
On Tuesday he is due to meet with Mr Penning, the under-secretary of state for transport, along with Kent County Council leader Paul Carter.
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At a separate meeting, on a date yet to be set, he will be joined by Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon and Tonbridge MP Sir John Stanley to discuss the A21 with Mr Osborne.
The £120 million project to improve the gridlocked single-carriage section between Tonbridge and Pembury had been approved by the previous Government, but was shelved by the coalition in 2010 amid budget cuts.
Last year, Kent County Council offered to carry out the work for a reduced sum of £70 million. But before work can go ahead the Government must approve the public consultation.
Mr Clark said: "The public inquiry needs to be the focus of attention so that as soon as money becomes available it will be ready to go and first in the queue."
The Courier launched its A21 For 2016 campaign after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged there would be money available for those who shout the loudest.
More than 2,400 supporters have signed our petition, which has also gained the support of councillors, businesses and MPs.
Mr Clark said the aim of the meeting was to persuade Mr Penning to give the public inquiry the go-ahead and that there was a "strong case for it" because it required no Government funding.
Last week, the Courier highlighted the plight of motorists by revealing it is quicker to run from Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells than to drive.