A21 Castle Hill-Pembury improvement

Scheme outline

Upgrade of the A21 between the A26 near Castle Hill and the Longfield road roundabout near Pembury to a dual carriageway standard. This is one of the most congested sections of road and is a high priority. Longfield road roundabout will be grade separated, giving access to a new regional hospital. This section of road, on average, carries 46,000 vehicles a day.

There will also be another minor road grade separated.

The bypass will be mostly online. An original plan was to re-align the road and make it a dual-carriageway with three lanes in each direction, however this was put off due to environmental concerns.

The bypass is one of the many schemes on the road which, when complete, will create a continuous dual-carriageway from the M25 to Hastings.

This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.

70 m
Other upgrade
for use by all traffic
Highway authority
Central Government


2 April 2009

Public enquiry is due to take place in summer 2010.

12 June 2009

The statutory processes for the upgrade will be held this September.

15 December 2009

Draft Orders for the improvement were published on 11 December 2009. If required, a Public Inquiry will be held in Summer 2010.

27 March 2010

A 2009 HA newsletter featuring more recent updates of the plan has been added to the site. Note: the scheme is incorrectly labelled the A27 so please ignore it.

14 June 2010

The public enquiry has been postponed pending a financial review in the autumn.

30 October 2010

Following the autumn spending review, the DfT has decided to continue preparatory work on this scheme, with a view to starting construction after 2015.

8 May 2012

The start of development work was announced today.

23 December 2014

Site clearance has now taken place and main construction will begin in early 2015 with completion by December 2016.

2 December 2015

Part of the new road is now in use - the approach to Longfield Road roundabout from the north is carrying the A21 traffic rather than the previous tarmac. A nearby minor road has been closed due to rat-running and dangerous illegal right turns being made.

3 December 2016

The works have been delayed as some of the soil has been contaminated with asbestos. Highways England now state that the work will not be finished until summer 2017, rather than spring.

4 May 2017

Progress is being made but as at the end of April the two main bridge structures seem a long way short of being ready for a Summer 2017 opening.

10 July 2017

The Longfield Road flyover is now open to traffic, though for the time being it is restricted to one lane in each direction.

21 September 2017

Two lanes are now open throughout and temporary speed limits have been lifted. The new road is fully open to traffic, though there may be occasional temporary restrictions imposed sporadically in the coming weeks for finishing works on the route for non-motorised users.

More information


With thanks to David Peek and Michael Pritchard for information on this page.