THE EAGERLEY-awaited A21 dualling project has seen a "major breakthrough" after the South East Regional Transport Board gave the plans its formal support.
Improvements to the single-lane Tonbridge to Pembury and Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst A21 stretches are scheduled to begin in 2011/12 and 2012/13 respectively.
Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark said: "This is a major breakthrough in our fight to get the A21 dualled at a time of growing economic uncertainty, the support of the board is vital.
"The board advises ministers on which roads are the highest priority for improvement and it is tremendous news that we have its support for the dualling.
"The improvements between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst had been under threat by a further Government review, but the board confirmed its support which is essential.
"With the new Pembury Hospital rising from the ground, there is additional urgency for the A21 improvements to get under way. Lives could be lost if ambulances are delayed in traffic."
While Mr Clark said the board's support was "critical", he added there would be no complacency. He said: "We must not stop pressing the Government until we see work begin."