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A multimillion-pound road improvement scheme that will ease congestion at a notorious bottleneck has been given the go-ahead.
A 2.5-mile section of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury will be upgraded from single to dual carriageway in a project costing between £59 million and £78.6 million.
The work will include the upgrading of junctions and improving the road layout.
The go-ahead follows a public inquiry into the scheme which has been supported by local businesses but opposed by those concerned about the environment.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill said: "This is great news not only for residents and businesses who use this stretch of road but also for the local economy.''
Highways Agency project manager Graham Link said: "The A21 is a vital route linking the Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells and Hastings/Bexhill areas to the M25 and London.
"The new section will provide much-needed capacity to reduce congestion and will also improve safety."
Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, has decribed it as "excellent news for many residents and businesses in the Tonbridge area".
He said: "The announcement paves the way for a very significant improvement in traffic movement, safety and air quality at a spot that has long been a serious bottleneck in the strategic and local transport network.
"It will also be a vital boost for the West Kent economy by improving accessibility for existing businesses and removing a barrier to further inward investment to the area."