Press Release

Balfour Beatty’s A21 major upgrade from Tonbridge to Pembury officially open

25 September 2017


Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has officially opened its major A21 upgrade project for Highways England.

The upgrade to the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury has provided drivers with a new dual carriageway, speeding up journeys, improving safety, reducing congestion and boosting the economy.

The A21 runs through an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (AONB) and has significant cultural heritage. The road improvements were carried out to the highest environmental standards, with twice the amount of woodland being translocated as was removed from the project, and cutting edge techniques used to preserve its ecological make up. New areas of heathland have been created in addition to 6m high temporary fencing to help guide bats travelling over the new road while new planting becomes established, 900 metres of noise barrier environmental fencing and four wildlife ponds.

With a focus on technology across Balfour Beatty, the project saw the use of Hololens technology to support the design of a new footbridge on the scheme. The innovative technology enables users to visualise an asset before it has been built, providing the opportunity to foresee any challenges which might arise.

Throughout the duration of the project, the scheme created 11 graduate placements, five apprenticeships and six work experience placements. The Balfour Beatty site team has also helped over 200 school children to understand road safety by providing talks to local schools surrounding the project.

Highways England Regional Investment Programme Director, David Haimes, said: “This is another missing link in the country’s road network filled in. For decades, the single carriageway section of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury has been a source of daily congestion, delaying drivers and frustrating business who depend on the road. That changes today. These A21 improvements are another great achievement for Highways England’s delivery of the first Road Investment Strategy, the biggest road investment for a generation. I hope the people of Kent enjoy driving on their new improved A21.”

George Pargeter, Balfour Beatty Project Director for the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury Project, said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of the A21 project, enabling the local community and travelling public to enjoy the benefits of the new dual carriageway. This has been a complex project which presented a number of challenges, however our expertise and collaboration with Highways England has enabled us to successfully and safely deliver a high quality, more streamlined route connecting Hastings and London.”

To find out more about the completion of this project, click here.


Media enquiries to:
Cassie Farrar
Balfour Beatty
t:   +44 (0) 207 963 2150

For all non-media related enquiries please contact +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 30,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.

  • Our main geographies are the UK, US and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

  • Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects business delivers large-scale, complex infrastructure projects that keep the UK moving and the economy thriving. Employing over 2,000 people, the business operates within three principal markets: Transportation, Energy and Power and Industrial.

  • Major Projects brings together the broad spectrum of capabilities and expertise from across the Balfour Beatty Group, working with the Rail, Power and M&E businesses to deliver innovative, bespoke engineering and construction solutions for our clients.

  • Our current portfolio of projects includes the delivery of two major design and build contracts for High Speed 2; Crossrail’s Whitechapel and Liverpool Street Station tunnels, as well as the stations at Whitechapel and Woolwich; the tunnelling and marine works at Hinkley Point C; and the west section of the Thames Tideway tunnel, London’s new major super-sewer through central London. We are also the leading supplier to Highways England, providing world-class asset management capabilities on key routes such as the M25.

  • Our legacy of iconic projects includes the Olympic Stadium transformation; Heathrow Airport Terminal 2; Blackfriars Station; the Olympic Aquatics Centre; and first Smart Motorway in the South West of England on the M4 and M5, improving journey safety and traffic capacity.

Avatar for Media Team

Media Team

+44 (0)203 810 2345