Greg met with Roads Minister, Robert Goodwill, and Department for Transport officials today to reinforce the case for dualling the A21 both between Tonbridge and Pembury and, as the next step, between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst. The result of the Public Inquiry is expected imminently on the Tonbridge to Pembury dualling.
Following a sustained campaign, last year's budget granted £92million of Government funding for the project which depends on the approval of the Public Inquiry to proceed.
Speaking after the meeting, Greg said:
"I wanted the Minister to be in no doubt of the important of the A21 dualling for our area. I underscored how crucial it is not just for the local economy but also to improve the appalling accident record and the environmental damage caused by stationary traffic at Castle Hill.
"The next few weeks are make or break time and I will leave no stone unturned to ensure the right decision is made."
Greg also pressed the Minister to advance plans to dual the next section of the A21 – between the Blue Boys roundabout and Lamberhurst by-pass.
"I will take nothing for granted until I see bulldozers begin work on the Castle Hill section but now is the time to begin our next campaign – to ensure that we have a dual carriageway all the way from the M25 to Lamberhurst. I called on the Roads Minister to recognise the Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst section as needing dualling and to begin planning for this work to happen."
Strict rules meant that the Minister was unable to comment on the dualling scheme until the Public Inquiry result is announced but he and his officials listened to what Greg said, as well as the Bexhill & Battle MP, Greg Barker, and Hastings MP, Amber Rudd.
Greg invited the Minister to travel the A21 with him to see the need for both upgrades.
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