A21 safety package

National Highways has committed to deliver a suite of safety improvements along the A21 route corridor from Sevenoaks to Hastings. We have brought forward this package of works in recognition of the safety improvements they will make to the travelling public and local communities.

Start date December 2020
End date Winter 2026
Cost Estimated £20m

Latest updates

  • 03 April 2024

    Silver Hill to John’s Cross safety improvements continue

    We’re started work on our improvements between Silver Hill (Hurst Green) and John’s Cross on Monday 5 February.

    This includes installing new signs and lighting, and improved road markings. It will take us up to three months to complete this section. Businesses remain open as usual.

    We’re also carrying out vegetation clearance and survey work near Whatlington. These surveys will be completed in phases using lane closures and temporary traffic lights at night between the B2090 junction and Whatlington Road to keep everyone safe and traffic flowing.

    We continue be only work weeknights between the hours of 8pm and 6am, when there are fewer vehicles on the road.

    There may be temporary traffic lights on the road outside of these hours, but the road will remain open while the lights are in place.

    Closure information (dates are inclusive) - updated Friday 12 April

    • 🚧 Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 April: the A21 will be fully closed between Silver Hill and Robertsbridge Roundabout weeknights from 8pm to 6am.

    • 🚦 Friday 19 April to Friday 2 May: there will be temporary traffic lights on sections of the A21 at Kent Street from 8pm to 6am.

    • 🚧 Monday 22 April to Friday 10 May (excluding Monday 6 May): the A21 will be fully closed between Robertsbridge Roundabout and John’s Cross weeknights from 8pm to 6am.

    During the full closures a diversion will be place via the A268 and A28.

    Access for businesses and residents

    An escort will be provided for businesses and residents within the closure, please approach the closure point. This is for access only. 

    This work is subject to favourable weather conditions, for example heavy rain may affect the progress. Keep an eye on our webpage for any updates.

    Speed limit changes

    As you drive along the A21, the current speed limit changes to match the conditions of the road, whether it is dual carriageway or a more rural location, but too many changes and inconsistency in speed limits can be a risk to drivers.

    For that reason, we’re changing the speed limits on some stretches of the A21 to make them more consistent to help smooth traffic flow. More details of where these changes are can be found under ‘Project information’ below.

    We understand you may have some questions about this work, so we’ve pulled together some of the most common ones we’ve been asked here.

    If you have any additional queries about our work to improve safety on the A21, you can email the project team at A21SafetyPackagescheme@nationalhighways.co.uk or call our 24/7 Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 who will direct your query to the team.

  • 03 January 2024

    Hurst Green to Hastings safety improvements continue

    We’ve made great progress with the first phase of safety improvement work on this section of the A21, which has included vegetation clearance, new safety barrier, road markings, road studs improvements and resurfacing. We’ve moved onto our next phase, which will include work to upgrade and improve signage:

    • improving the information, visibility and positioning of signs
    • removing signs that are no longer needed and replacing any that are old or damaged
    • reducing the amount of sign clutter at the roadside
    • excavating for new electrical ducts to connect new traffic signals.

    To minimise disruption, we’ll work on weeknights only when there are fewer vehicles on the road. During the day we will keep the road open as usual. The next few weeks of closures are currently programmed below:

    • Friday 5 to Tuesday 9 January 2024 - full closure of the A21 between Northbridge Street roundabout and John’s Cross roundabout for 3 weeknights – 8pm to 5am.
      Diversion

    Diversion

    • Wednesday 10 to Monday 15 January – full closure of the A21 between Vinehall Street (B2089) and Marley Lane for 4 weeknights – 8pm to 5am.
    • Tuesday 16 to Monday 22 January – full closure of the A21 between Marley Lane and Seddlescombe golf club for 5 weeknights – 8pm to 5am.
    • Tuesday 23 January to Friday 26 January – full closure of the A21 between Seddlescombe golf club and Baldslow – 8pm to 5am.

    Diversion

    • Monday 29 January to Friday 2 February – temporary traffic lights on the Robertsbridge roundabout between 6pm and 6am each night. 

    Access For businesses and residents

    For businesses and residents within the closure areas only, access will be maintained to your properties. Please approach the closure point for an escort. This is for access only.

    Please note that these works are subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. Please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause.

     

  • 21 September 2023

    Hurst Green to Hastings safety improvements begin

    As part of our package of safety improvements along the A21, we’ll soon start working between Hurst Green and Hastings (Baldslow). Our first phase of work will involve:

    • Clearing overgrown vegetation, to generally improve sightlines and visibility of junctions and signage. This work will be completed sensitively to avoid disturbing animal habitats.
    • Maintenance and repairs to the road surfacing.
    • Improvements to safety barriers, road markings and road studs.

    The work will start on the evening of Monday 9 October, and will finish in Spring 2024. We’ll keep this webpage updated with the latest closure dates and details – you can sign up for alerts on the right-hand side of this page.

    To minimise disruption, we’ll work on weeknights only when there are fewer vehicles on the road. During the day we will keep the road open as usual. The first few weeks of closures are currently programmed below.

    • Monday 9 to Tuesday 17 October – full closure of the A21 between Coopers Corner and Northbridge Street roundabout for 6 weeknights - 8pm to 6am.
    • Tuesday 17 to Wednesday 25 October – full closure of the A21 between Northbridge Street roundabout and John’s Cross roundabout for 7 weeknights – 8pm to 6am.

    *** UPDATED ***

    With a weather warning in place for Storm Ciarán, we’ll not be working between Johns Cross roundabout and the Westfield Lane junction on Wednesday 1 November. Our weeknight closures will continue on the night of Thursday 2, weather permitting.

    • Wednesday 25 October to 6am Saturday 4 November – full closure of the A21 between John’s Cross Roundabout and the A21/A28 Westfield Lane junction for 8 weeknights – 8pm to 6am.

    Diversion

    Access for businesses and residents

    For businesses and residents within the closure areas only, access will be maintained to your properties. Please approach the closure point for an escort. This is for access only.

    Please note that these works are subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. Please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause.

  • 03 August 2022

    Progress update – August 2022

    The team have been busy over the last year working on our plans to improve safety on the A21. A lot of this work has focused on reviewing information and data to help shape our plans and inform our designs. Making sure we can deliver improvements where they are needed most. 

    Route wide – signage & road markings 

    We’ve completed a review of all the signage and road markings along the A21 and have identified where improvements are needed. Our proposals are in the final stages of the design and will be ready for construction in early 2023. These changes will bring much-needed improvements to driver information on the road.  

    Route wide – layby review 

    There have been several incidents related to laybys on the A21. We’ve reviewed this data, as well as looking at the designs of the laybys themselves to identify any possible improvements. These proposals are being reviewed alongside the other planned improvements.   

    Route wide – walking, cycling and horse-riding review 

    We’ve carried out a review of the existing walking, cycling and horse-riding routes on the A21 and found some opportunities for improvements. We’re now looking at these opportunities in more detail, with design work planned to start in 2023   

    Targeted improvements  

    We’ve completed our improvement plans at some of the higher priority incident hotspots and will be starting work on these in early 2023. This will be a staged approach, which will see changes introduced that are monitored and reviewed. We can then adjust or put in additional improvements as required.  

    Details can be found in the “Lamberhurst to Hurst Green” and “Hurst Green to Hastings” sections. 

    Surveys 

    You may notice our teams carrying out surveys on the A21. These surveys help us gather as much information as possible about what is above and below the surface.  

    As well as surveys looking at drainage, surface water and ground conditions, you may have noticed people walking around using specialist equipment, known as ground penetrating radar, to look below the surface to confirm the location of pipes and cables.  

    We’ve also carried out video surveys at a several locations. These are to help us understand how drivers and pedestrians use certain junctions and identify any changes we can make to improve safety and reduce risk.  

    Hurst Green village pedestrian survey 

    We’re currently looking in detail at routes for pedestrians in Hurst Green. A survey was recently sent to all residents to find out more about how people move around the village when not using a vehicle, and what improvements they would like to see made.  

    We’ll be reviewing all the feedback we get in September and will report back to the community with any proposals for improvements. 

    If you’d like to know more, or live in Hurst Green and didn’t receive a survey, please email us: A21SafetyPackagescheme@nationalhighways.co.uk and one of the team will be in contact.  

  • 07 July 2021

    Progress update - July 2021

    Over the last few months, we’ve been busy gathering information to help shape our plans to improve safety on the A21. Information gathering is key when planning any scheme, and allows us to get a full picture of where improvements are needed. So far, we’ve:

    • reviewed 10 years’ worth of safety data for the route
    • started to look at signage and road markings to identify locations where these could be improved, for example at junctions or near schools
    • started a review of the speed limits along the route, considering if they match the conditions for each section of the road

    Our work is being split into sections, and you can find more information about each section below.

    We’re also continuing with our usual maintenance and repairs of the road. More information about this work can be found on our South East maintenance schemes page.

  • 09 April 2021

    What we're doing this spring

    Since starting the project, we have reviewed 10 years-worth of safety data for the A21. This has helped us refine our proposals so there’s a tangible safety benefit for road users.

    We’re looking at where best to put signs and we’re analysing how different road markings could increase safety. Our work on signs includes signs for junctions, schools, villages and hazards.

    We’ve also started a review of speed limits along the route to see if those currently in place match the characteristic of the road and if they are encouraging positive driver behaviours.

  • 04 December 2020

    Preparation for the A21 Safety Package scheme begins

    Highways England is considering a number of measures to improve safety along the A21.  

    Details of specific sites and interventions that are under consideration in our preliminary design stage on the A21 can be found in these documents:

    Link 1 – M25 to Tonbridge
    Link 2 – Tonbridge to Lamberhurst
    Link 3 - Lamberhurst to Hurst Green
    Link 4 – Hurst Green to Hastings

Project information

Overview

The A21 has, for many years, suffered from a significant level of collisions.

We are bringing forward a series of schemes to improve safety along this corridor, which will include, amongst others:

  • junction improvements
  • improvements to road alignment and visibility
  • changes to speed limits
  • improved signing, markings and road studs

This work is to improve safety and won't change capacity along the A21. We'll be looking at that as part of our 'route strategy' work which is due to start shortly.

Improving safety along the A21 - reducing the number, severity and frequency of incidents for the travelling public and local communities

Improving the customer experience of the A21

Reducing journey time delays as a result of a reduction in incidents

Updated January 2024
A21/A25 junction improvements

Our review of the A21 / A25 junction highlighted several incidents at this junction, so we’ve improved the signage and road markings at this junction in 2021 and continue to monitor its impact on safety of the junction.

We’ve since conducted video surveys to find out how pedestrians move around the junction, to see if we can make any improvements. We've reviewed this data and are currently designing improvements to the junction for pedestrians. We anticipate starting construction in Autumn 2024. 

Sevenoaks Bypass laybys

There has been a cluster of incidents relating to vehicles entering and exiting laybys on the A21 Sevenoaks Bypass. We are looking at the layout of the laybys to see if these can be changed to reduce the risk of collisions.

Improvements were completed at the southbound Riverhill layby in 2022, and additional work will be completed here in the near future. A review of the other laybys in the area is ongoing and any improvement work identified will start in 2023.

Road markings and signage

We’ll be improving road markings and signage along the A21 to ensure it is consistent along the route. This includes:

  • improving the information, visibility and positioning of signs
  • removing signs that are no longer needed and replacing any that are old or damaged
  • reducing the amount of sign clutter at the roadside
  • improving the visibility, condition and type of road markings

These improvements are due to start in Spring 2024.

Updated January 2024
Forstal Farm Roundabout

There has been a several incidents at the Forstal Farm roundabout, where the road goes from dual carriageway to a single lane. As we are unable to widen the road at this point, we’ll be improving the road markings and signage to reduce the risk of accidents. This work is currently being designed and we’re planning to complete the improvements in 2024.

Targeted improvements

We’ve been reviewing safety data at Kippings Cross Roundabout, Blue Boys Roundabout and Cuckoo Lane. This review was put on hold while we focused on other locations. We’re planning to continue with our reviews at these locations in late 2024.

Road markings and signage

We’ll be improving road markings and signage along the A21 to ensure it is consistent along the route. This includes:

  • improving the information, visibility and positioning of signs
  • removing signs that are no longer needed and replacing any that are old or damaged
  • reducing the amount of sign clutter at the roadside
  • improving the visibility, condition and type of road markings

These improvements are due to start in 2024.

Updated January 2024
Scotney Castle to north of Flimwell

Working along-side the local community, we've put up new signs to alert drivers earlier as they approach junctions, and changed the road markings to reduce overtaking and lane changes. We’ve also reduce the speed limit through this section of road.

We completed these changes in early 2023, and are monitoring the impact. 

Ashdene Garages

There have been several incidents linked to vehicles entering and exiting the service stations at Ashdene. We’ve carried out video surveys of the two service stations to understand the type of journeys people make, the pedestrian and vehicle movements at the service stations and risks associated with them.

We’re using this data to develop changes to reduce incidents at this location. Changes are currently in design, and once ready we’ll share them with the local community to gather feedback. We’re planning to start work on any improvements in late 2024/early 2025.

A21 / A229 Coopers Corner junction

Being led by the safety data, we put investigation work at this junction on hold in 2021, while we prioritised work at other locations. In summer 2022, we restarted our review at this junction. A video survey has been carried out to help us understand more about the vehicle movements and risks linked with them. Having reviewed this data, we started design work towards the end of 2023 for a roundabout at Coopers Corner. We anticipate starting construction in early 2026. 

A21 Hurst Green village

We’re currently looking at how we can improve safety and accessibility of the pedestrian routes through the village of Hurst Green. Following a survey with the Hurst Green Parish Council, we've reviewed survey data and feedback, and are drafting improvements, which will include two new pedestrian crossings. We continue to work with the community on our plans.

We're aiming to start construction on changes in 2025. 

Road markings and signage

We started improving road markings and signage along the A21 to ensure it is consistent along the route. This includes:

  • improving the information, visibility and positioning of signs
  • removing signs that were no longer needed and replacing old and damaged signs
  • reducing the amount of sign clutter at the roadside
  • improving the visibility, condition and type of road markings

These improvements started on this section in 2022.

Targeted improvements

We reviewed data from Scotney Castle Roundabout and Lady Oak Lane, and targeted improvements were put in place in 2022, which we'll be monitoring. 

Updated October 2023

We’ve already completed some improvements on this stretch of the A21, which included:

  • A21 / B2089 & B2090 junctions
  • New signage on the A21 and B2090
  • Changes to the road markings at the northern B2090 junction, which:
    • Prohibit right turns from the northbound A21 carriageway
    • Provide a dedicated left turn approach lane for vehicles travelling south on the A21

Next steps

The next phase of work in this section started in October 2023, and will include improvements to:

Road markings and signage

We’ll be improving road markings and signage along the A21 to ensure it is consistent along the route. This includes:

  • improving the information, visibility and positioning of signs
  • removing signs that are no longer needed and replacing any that are old or damaged
  • reducing the amount of sign clutter at the roadside
  • improving the visibility, condition and type of road markings

Speed Limit Changes

As you drive along the A21, the current speed limits change to match the conditions of the road, whether it is dual carriageway or a more rural location. Too many changes and inconsistency in speed limits can be a risk to drivers, and we’ll be making changes along the route for more consistency and to help smooth traffic flow.

Junction improvements

Our reviews of these junctions are on hold as we prioritise work in other locations:

  • Silver Hill
  • Cripps Corner
  • B2244 Tolgate Road
  • Poppinghile Lane
  • Blueman Lane

We’re prioritising pedestrian improvement work, and are currently in a design phase for changes at:

  • B2244 tollgate road junction
  • Kent Street
  • Whatlington Village
  • Hurst Green

We’ve started on our improvements Marley Lane and Moat Lane.

Phase 1 - vegetation clearance - complete
We’ve started cutting back vegetation in the verges on this stretch of the A21 to improve visibility to both the junctions and the new signs. Vegetation clearance will include grass cutting, hedge trimming and tree crown lifting. This needs to be carried out to reduce the impact on wildlife, eg avoiding nesting season, so we'll be returning to complete this work at a later date. 

Phase 2 – safety package improvements
As part of the suite of safety improvements on the A21, we’re making improvements to both Marley Lane and Moat Lane junctions, by overhauling the signage and road markings. This work is underway.

Alongside the safety package project, we’re also continuing with our usual maintenance and repairs of the road. More information, along with other work we’re completing on our network, can be found on our South East maintenance schemes page.

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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