Published: 00:01, 21 September 2017
It has taken more than two years of work and cost nearly £70 million but a project to improve the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury has finally been completed.
Now a dual carriageway, it was officially opened by Highways England during a ceremony this morning.
At least 35,000 motorists a day use the route and the improvements, which were first mooted in 2009, aim to speed up journeys, improve safety and reduce congestion.
Explaining the importance of the improvement work, Highways England says on its website: "This single carriageway section of the A21 experiences severe congestion throughout the day and particularly at peak times and has a poor accident record with an average accident rate about 20% higher than the default value for a road of this type."
The government-owned authority says the environmental impact of the road widening was studied and measures are being taken to reduce its impact.
Noise fences and earth mounds with planting will be provided to ensure that all residences close to the line of the existing A21 experience a reduction in noise levels.
Highways England also says the majority of affected residential properties may experience improved local air quality because of the reduced traffic congestion.
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