Balfour Beatty has appointed WSP as lead designer for the Highways Agency’s A21 Tonbridge to Pembury dualling scheme.
The project will involve the widening of four kilometres of single carriageway to a dual carriageway, with the new route broadly following the line of the current road between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent.
Currently the road carries over 35,000 vehicles every day, and this section of the A21 experiences congestion throughout the day, particularly at peak times, as it acts as a bottle neck to dual carriageway sections on either side. It also has a poor accident record. The scheme passes through a highly sensitive environmental area and WSP and Balfour Beatty will address significant environmental commitments during the design and construction phases.
The scheme follows a public inquiry that took place in May 2013. Preconstruction environmental surveys are being undertaken by WSP and design work has started, with construction works on site expected to commence in early 2015.
WSP has worked as design and build consultant for Balfour Beatty on other Highways Agency projects including the widening of multiple sections of the M25 since 1995.
Roland Diffey, WSP technical head of highways, said: “This is an essential project that will remove a significant bottleneck on an important transfer corridor that connects London and the M25 with the south coast at Hastings. The dualling scheme will not only increase capacity and reduce congestion but makes journeys safer and more reliable.
“We’re delighted to be appointed to lead the design development, providing another opportunity to demonstrate our roads expertise and our excellent relationship with both Balfour Beatty and the Highways Agency.”
Stephen Tarr, Balfour Beatty managing director for major projects, added: “We have been working with WSP for nearly 20 years, on some vital upgrades to Britain’s road network, including the widening of M1 and M25 motorways. We are looking forward to working on this project collaboratively for the Highways Agency and for the benefit of Kent’s commuters.”