Success for widening campaign
THE Government has pledged to widen the gridlocked A21.
To the delight of residents, roads minister Mike Penning said on Tuesday that work would start in April 2015.
Precise details of the scheme are unclear. The Department for Transport said £107 million had been set aside to widen the single-lane section between Tonbridge and Pembury – less than the original £125 million price tag but far more than Kent County's Council's £70 million proposal.
The Government's backing for the project was greeted with relief.
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It represents a stunning victory for the Courier's A21 For 2016 campaign, with work due to start even earlier than the campaign had been fighting for.
Mandy Brooker, who commutes from Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells, said she was "delighted" to hear the news.
"The stretch from Tonbridge to the Longfield Road roundabout has been the bane of my life for more years than I care to count," she said.
"I dread to think how many hours of my life I have wasted in stationary traffic.
"It's a disgrace that this hasn't been done years ago and I sincerely hope there are no further U-turns now."
Special report – pages 4-5