25 NOV 2011

Innovative offer to get A21 dualling scheme underway

MPs and local authorities representing the whole length of the A21 corridor have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, with an innovative offer to get the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury dualling scheme underway again.

Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council and other local authorities have offered to:

  • Fully underwrite the costs of the currently stalled public inquiry, enabling it to recommence quickly without using central government funds. This will ensure that the project is ready to go once funding is available. 
  •  Guarantee the local delivery of the project for £70m. The cost of the scheme has been estimated by the Highways Agency to be £120m. Kent County Council has re-assessed the costs and says that the project can be completed for less than £70m. This represents a saving of over £50m.

Greg Clark commented:

"There are lots of very good reasons why the dualling of the A21 needs to get underway. First and foremost of these has to be road safety - there have been a number of fatal accidents along this stretch of road recently so the sooner it is dualled, the better.

"However, the economic benefits are also considerable. This construction project would be an important boost to the local economy at a much needed time. Getting on with the A21 dualling scheme, rather than keeping it on hold, would have significant growth prospects all along the route of the A21."

"This offer means that when the funding does become available, the A21 dualling scheme should be very well placed to start without any further delay."

See today's report in The Kent & Sussex Courier:

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Councils-offer-fund-inquiry-A21-dualling/story-13952712-detail/story.html

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