KCC Statement 8 May 2012
Work by Kent to dual A21 wins support from Roads Minister
Kent's determination to drive down the cost of dualling the A21, from £120 million to £70 million, was recognised by government today as Roads Minister Mike Penning announced his support for the scheme.
The RAC Foundation last year identified it as the best value-for-money unfunded government road scheme in the country. This followed a call by the Confederation of British Industry to bring forward widening of the Highways Agency road to 2013-2015.
Kent has held a series of meetings with the Minister to discuss how costs for the scheme could be lowered, and offered to fund the necessary public inquiry, to make sure delays in delivering the scheme are minimised when government funding becomes available.
Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, said:
"This is fantastic news. We have met Roads Minister Mike Penning on a number of occasions to push the case for dualling the A21.
This will make a tremendous difference to those residents and businesses in West Kent that suffer congestion associated with the A21. The news means that we can move forward with public consultation on the scheme, so that we can hit the ground running when national funding is made available post 2015. Completion of the scheme will be an enormous boost to the local Kent economy and support growth along the A21 corridor to Hastings."
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste, Bryan Sweetland, said:
"The government's announcement to back the A21 widening scheme is very welcome news for residents and firms in West Kent. This will mean an end is in sight to the traffic problems they are reduced to suffering on a regular basis."