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A21 at Castle Hill

Major change; 12/08/09, Changed 30/09/2017, 04/12/2016

Status April 2015;

Construction started this year. Some comment about the destruction of woodland has been reported. Significantly though the precedent was set in 1993 with the calling in and over turning of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's planning refusal for the Knights Park cinema and bowling complex within ancient woodland so thereby compromising the protection of the green surround to Tunbridge Wells in the Kent Strategic Plan.

The political change came in 1995 with the Lib-Dems making Tunbridge Wells Borough Council a hung council on a largely pro-A21 campaign. But conversely at the same time the Lib-Dems won Kent county Council and opened secret papers to scrutiny on the outer (M25) orbital motorway.

Status May 2014;

Decision letter (email) received; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a21-tonbridge-to-pembury-dualling-scheme-decision-letter

The decision seems to discount all objection, though it does note the effects on the natural environmental and to the Fort ancient monument. Painting a very rosy view.

The local campaign that has been established 20 years or so  to have Cornford Lane closed was reported in The Courier, to have succeeded in April 2014 also. This may be linked with other measures to pinch off rat runs and particularly a pinch off traffic on to the A26 to force through traffic to transfer on to the A21. Although councils like Southborough Town opposed such pinch points on the entry to Southborough A26. The Tesco in Southborough public inquiry allowed traffic directly on to the A26 thereby setting a precedent that had overturned a log established policy in the local plan. The Department of Transport told me of the pinch point plan in 1992. 

It would be nice to see the whole plan but I am not going to see that perhaps other readers have seen the plan?

Discussing this with a supporter of the scheme there was agreement that we don't have the real plan. The pieces they let you see (I tried to get a photocopy of a wider map) in 1992. The copier did not work not surprisingly and they could not send it to me. It showed, and I wrote the numbers down, increased traffic on all other roads in the design year. Therefore my conclusion that I can't really think the road should go ahead with out benefits to anyone. Therefore there must be another plan that does have benefits.

Status; February 2013;

  • Inspector will be; Dr J.V. Stiles BSc (Hons) Arch RIBA Dip LA MLI PhD MRTPI
  • PUBLIC INQUIRY PRE-INQUIRY MEETING; Will be held by the Inspector starting at 2:00pm on Monday 25 March (corrected date) at the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel, 8 Tonbridge Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4QL.

  • Public Inquiry to begin on Tuesday 14th May 2013 at 10AM same address
  •  There is by the way a public inquiry coming in the summer on the A21 at Castle Hill
  • Details of the proposals for the scheme are on our website at:
They are proposing to upgrade the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury to dual 2-lane carriageway standard.

Objection;

  • It shows a considerable increase in the fatality rate since, I think, the big roundabout replaced the smaller one a Longfield Road junction. The figure is 3 2007-2011, the rate had been a stable low of 1 every 5 years for a number of decades a note.
  •  The earlier data two years till 2009 was two fatalities in 2 years this again are the fatalities that occured after the new roundabout.
A21 Tonbridge to Pembury - Outline Statement of Case - January 2013

The significant issues are;

  • More traffic into Tunbridge Wells
  • The scheme proposed could increase the fatality from the noted low rated In the Access to Hasting Multi-modal Study 1999-2002 report

Other significant issues;

  • Compromise the Tudley Wood RSPB Nature reserve, 
  • Compromise the Ancient Monument Iron Age Fort,
  • Summerhill & Accent Woodland surround,

Alternatives and other notes;

  • Predicted traffic increase, public inquiry 1992/3, on the A26 has not occurred.
  •  The A to H study (steering committee) omitted considering the restoration of the Rail link Tunbridge Wells to Brighton. The A26 and A21 corridors were within the study boundary.
  • The study did not predict reduction (but increase by 300) in unemployment in the Bexhill - St. Leonards area identified as a high unemployment area. (new houses would be built as part of land gain from the coastal road scheme within the study.

Archive pre -1997 till about 2003

 
 

 Milton Keynes 2007/2008

Objection to a New section of Dual 3 Lane A21, trunk road at Castlle Hill

More information to follow – 44 letters of support & 47 against. Public inquires may occur both on revoking the present off line land orders, and the new land use orders.

New proposal for Castle Hill Section of A21 & south of Pembury
Access to Hastings Multi-modal Study
Archive Objection to a new section of A21 six lane trunk Road at Castle Hill  (this page)
Government office for the South East
SEEDASEERA – Multi-modal Studies – Environmental shadow – SEFs – SEFs_TG
South Coast Multi-modal study web link

Better than bypasses – Hastings pressure group http://www.bj-design.co.uk/hastings/

Dangerous roads http://www.eurorap.org/
Road Alert http://roadalert.org.uk
Government Study South coast MM http://www.socomms.org.uk/

Environmental Transport Association: http://www.eta.co.uk/
Wealden Line Action Group: http://home.clara.net/wealdenline/
 
Real Life Horror

I was involved in a multiple car pile up in 1977 the movie above does not exaggerate. If you were not running away you would not remember the last bit. Circulated in an email 10/2010

My orginal webspace home page:-

Objection to a new section of Dual 3 lane A21 Trunk Road between Pembury and Tonbridge Government’s previous code name – The Weald and Downland DBFO Project

LOCATION: Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.    Created 1997

 

The scheme proposed is for a six lane trunk road A highly visible scar on the horizon through ancient woodland Resulting in considerably more traffic through residential areas

New Items to this page

31 January 1999 – correction to my email address. 
National Local Transportation Day is 6 March – actions; Ashdown FoE stall in Crowborough, new section of A22 action considered. John Goodfellow and Richard Hill have updated David Bannerman’s proposals for rail stations at North Farm, High Brooms, Good Station Road, Tunbridge Wells Central, and West Station. These stations for shorter journeys rail sidings additionally at North Farm, Good Station Road, and West Station. Rail track should be pressed to spend money on these proposals. It is no surprise that Tories in opposition are supporting road schemes killed of under the last Tory government SANCTRA report. The Lamberhurst by-pass through part of Scotney Castle Grounds is for local needs then surely it should be built by the Tory Kent County Council. It is not a strategic route in any case surely?
 
Watch the scaling of the ground under the road. The road is very near the top of Castle Hill. Also the direction of North varies between DoT maps and the curvature of the north section of joining existing road varies.

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