New proposal A21 at Castle Hill and South of Pembury

I visited the A21 (Castle Hill section) public exhibition at Weald of Kent Girls Grammer School, Tonbridge, on 22-11-02. The scheme proposed seems to be incomplete, and perhaps 5 to 10 years away depending on public enquiry, I was told.

It would be interesting to compare crash and fatality rates of the proposed scheme with comparable section of road e.g. the Pembury by-pass (I have those figures). But I view with scepticism the revised fatality rate, which seems to predict to zero fatalities in the first 30 years. As you may be aware there has been one fatality in each of the recent five years periods I have, though I don’t have figures for the last five years. That would be 6 deaths in 30 years as a guess, but surprisingly ATkins predict a reduction of 6 fatalities over the 30 years following opening.

The 30 year reduction figures given to me are: Fatal -6, Serious -28, and Slight -150. I have asked for this to be sent to me plus predicted traffic on this and other roads. The press release on the web space also makes comical reading. Another public exhibition on parts of the A21 south of Pembury is due for the 6 & 7 December at Bewl Water.

The proposed road seems cut into Castle Hill the scheduled monument, but the Atkins rep. thought that there was mitigating aspects involving piles, and something else, I left unsure. The claimed pedestrian, cycle, and equestrian, benefits were fragmented, and was said that they had not all been designed in yet. The North going Southbound slip road seems excessively long, And there are two large new roundabouts at Longfield Road, of which one is being built now take a lot of land.

Changes since the A2H study, are removal of the north end roundabout, and raising the then proposed 50 MPH speed limit, to 70 MPH.

The height of the road is increased which was the only aspect the CPRE objected to last time. The road at present is visible from Southborough and High Brooms, and perhaps with the greater speed, and usage I can anticipate more noise. I did not ask about these aspects. The cost is £30M.

Finally I have also received a summery of the Orbit (now called M25 study) 4th newsletter, which is a very thin summary. The outcome is disappointing, and I anticipate some object even from road users on the 4 lanes. You might note that consultants Hailberton (Brown & Route) is a George Bush Co.

A21 South of Pembury

Exibition At Bewl Water

Although the proposals for the A21 South of Pembury anticipated better safety, it was acknowledged by Gordon Adam of (Hyder or HWA) that there

would be more junctions therefore more crashes (there word was accidents, though they had not assessed the current figures to make this judgement). No comment was made on the degree of severity of the crashes. Though it was suggested that they might be less severe.

Other scheme shown was the Lamberhurst bypass. Fatal 6, south of Lamberhurst 6.

The two proposed schemes were for Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst, though crash and fatality figures were not given for the Pembury Bypass and Kippings Cross junction, which are quite bad. The other scheme was for Flimwell to Roberts Bridge. These schemes featured many embankments and some cuttings, and the consultants anticipated objection, and seemed ready to concede a lowering of the road. There was also a tunnel at Silver Hill, nr Roberts bridge. Some parts 30th worst in uk, the actual figures are 34th. & 87th. Cost £27M + 47M. Journey time saved 15 minutes. Objective to reduce accidents by 50%.

** Figures I wrote down 1998-2000 **

Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst:

* Vehicals/day 22,900 this is considerably more than in 1996. Prediction

26000 by 2010.

* Fatal 1, Serious 16, Slight 40.

Flimwell to Roberts Bridge:

* Vehicles/day 18,500 & 15,800 this is considerably more than in 1996.

Prediction 21,000 & 18,000 by 2010.

* Fatal 4, Serious 8, Slight 4.

Other points:

* Half way through our world oil reserves.

* A26 at Eridge may be a comparable section {I have not found this road on AA dangerous Road) of three lane road, though it does have a bus stop on the 100MPH section of road.