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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 08:51 GMT
Delay in road widening criticised
The A21 at Lamberhurst
The Lamberhurst section of the A21 bypass has finally been completed
Delays in widening the A21 - a major route between London and Hastings - have been criticised by a Kent MP.

At the opening of a new section of the road Tunbridge Wells MP Archie Norman said he was "disappointed" as only a small part of the project was complete.

The Conservative MP welcomed the Lamberhurst bypass but said other parts of the route are still too dangerous.

Transport minister David Jamieson said a number of other projects need funding but the A21 was still in the pipeline.

Our economy is doing well so we can now afford more of these schemes
David Jamieson

At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Mr Jamieson added that the government had funded lots of other improvements to the A21.

"There are a lot of demands for road projects around the country, but especially in the South East.

"Our economy is doing well so we can now afford more of these schemes."

The next section due for improvement between Tonbridge and Pembury was supposed to be completed by 2006 but that has been put on hold with no alternative date for completion.

Mr Norman said: "This bypass will allow Lamberhurst to be a tranquil Kent village again... but the government have only delivered a tiny little bit of the project."

The Lamberhurst bypass section of the A21 improvement project had been planned for 20 years but work only began two years ago.

It cost 12m to complete.




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