We are concerned about the implications of the proposed Dual Three lane A21 Pembury to Tonbridge linking section of Trunk Road. This is part of a programme of building new sections of trunk road between London and Robertsbridge, and would be the only 6 lane section, creating bottle necks.
What people express to us as councillors is their need for regular buses. To call the proposal an improvement as the Department of Transport (DTp) do is more than slightly inaccurate as destruction of the natural environment is involved. This road does nothing to reduce predicted traffic flows. The DTp predicts that traffic will initially drop on the A26 then increase again through Southborough and Tunbridge Wells. The DTp use the drop to justify the road. More traffic will be brought in to Tunbridge Wells on both the A264 Pembury Road, and Longfield Road presumably then through residential areas of Sherwood, Upper Grosvenor Road, or Ferndale Road.
Some objectors at the inquiry in 1993 thought adding another lane to the existing road would be better, and traffic management with no widening would be ideal. Their ideal would be to cut transport requirement using the principle of local goods for local needs.
This new road would go across an iron age settlement, Castle Hill, cause the loss of semi-natural ancient woodland, including what is believed to be a relic of the extensive ancient forest of Andredsweald. The road goes through a pond with Great Crested Newts, an endangered species. This contravenes accepted law. Material of archaeological interest in the ditch surrounding Castle Hill was lost when the previous section of A21 was constructed.
The bottom line is the cost which will be considerably more than the previous DTp estimate as we understand tenders for building the trunk road are to come to parliament under the Design Build Fund and Operate scheme. Before any such road is considered a proper environmental assessment must be demanded. The inspector’s report after the inquiry in 1993 said “…Only limited information was available before route selection was made and, even now, it is clear that detailed, sophisticated research is needed, …”. We endorse your policy of an integrated transport system, and trust you will reconsider road building proposals such as this.