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 December 2024
Cost Estimated £20m

Latest updates

  • 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 improve 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

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 during 2021 and continue to monitor its impact on safety of the junction.

We’ve recently conducted video surveys to find out how pedestrians move around the junction to see if we can make any improvements. This data is currently being reviewed.

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.

Improvement work has already started at the southbound Riverhill layby in 2022, and we’ll be checking the impact of these changes before doing any more work here. 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 2022.

Drainage surveys

We’re carrying out surveys to learn more about the drainage on the A21 between the M25 and Tonbridge. It’s important that we keep our drainage systems working as they should. They’re in place to remove water from the road, prevent flooding and help keep the road free of standing water.

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 2023.

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 2022.

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 2022.

Scotney Castle to north of Flimwell

We’ve reviewed the type of incidents occurring along this stretch of road and identified collision hotspots at:

  • Kilndown Road junction
  • Cedar Gables junction
  • Rosemary Lane junction
  • T&J Motel junction

Following feedback from the local community, we’re proposing a light-touch solution at these locations. We’ll be putting up new signs to alert drivers earlier as they approach the junction, and changes to the road markings to reduce overtaking and lane changes. We’re also looking at reducing the speed limit through this section of road.

We’re planning to make these changes in 2022 and monitor the impacts for a year.

We’ve also carried out surveys at Kilndown and Rosemary Lane to better understand vehicle movements in this area and the current drainage issues. This data is currently under review and will be used to develop future plans at these locations.

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. Once we have more details about these changes, we’ll share them with the local community to gather feedback. We’re planning to start work on any improvements in 2023.

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. This data is currently being review and will be used to develop future interventions at this location, if required.

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. We’ve launched a survey with the Hurst Green Parish Council to gather their feedback on existing pedestrian routes and how these could be improved.

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.

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 2022.

Targeted improvements

We’ve been reviewing data from Scotney Castle Roundabout and Lady Oak 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 2022.

A21 / B2089 & B2090 junctions

There have been several incidents and near misses at the B2090 junctions with the A21. Many of these are linked to the poor visibility joining the A21 and clashing vehicle movements at the junctions. We’ll be making improvements to both junctions to reduce the risk of collisions.

These improvements will change both how you access the B2090 from the A21 and the A21 from the B2090 and include:

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

The design for these improvements is complete and we’re planning to start works in late 2022.

Targeted improvements

We’ve reviewed the type of incidents occurring at the following collision hotspots:

  • Marley Lane Junction
  • Moat Lane Junction

Following feedback from the local community, we’re proposing a light-touch solution. We’ll be putting up new signs to alert drivers earlier as they approach the junction, and changes to the road markings. We’re also looking at reducing the speed limit through these sections.

We’re planning to make these changes in 2023 and monitor the impacts for a year.

We’ve also carried out additional surveys at Moat Lane to better understand vehicle movements in this area and the current drainage issues. This data is currently being review and will be used to develop future plans at these locations, as required.

We’d previously said we would be looking into specific safety concerns at Silver Hill junction, Cripps Corner, Park Lane, B2244 Tolgate Road junction, George Hill, Stream Lane, Poppinghole Lane, Blueman Lane, Vinehall and Claremont Schools. We put investigative work at these locations on hold in 2021 while we focused on other locations. We’ll be restarting our reviews at these locations in late 2022.

A21 Kent Street – pedestrian routes

We’ve been reviewing the pedestrian routes along Kent Street. Additional surveys need to be completed, which will start soon. This will then allow us to start planning our improvements later this year. We’re also looking at the speed limit through this section of road.

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 2022.

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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