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Highways England award £507m contract for A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements




Skanska has been awarded a £507m contract to design and build the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme.

Congestion on the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire is a common sight for drivers Picture: Highways England (45414067)
Congestion on the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire is a common sight for drivers Picture: Highways England (45414067)

The company has been appointed by Highways England to carry out the scheme, which includes the construction of a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.

The works also include upgrading both existing roundabouts into free-flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, near St Neots.

The project replaces the only remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

Lee Galloway, Highways England A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements interim project director, added: “The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme will transform one of the busiest road links in the East of England, helping to save drivers who live, work and travel in and around Bedfordshire and Cambridge an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week.

“We’re extremely excited to be working alongside Skanska as we move through the design stages of this project and onto starting main construction.”

Skanska will lead on the project, working in close collaboration with design partner Mott McDonald and Highways England. The contract was awarded through Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership framework.

An artistic impression of how the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire will look once the scheme is complete Picture: Highways England (45414079)
An artistic impression of how the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire will look once the scheme is complete Picture: Highways England (45414079)

Jonathan Willcock, managing director of Skanska’s infrastructure business, added: “We’re delighted to have agreed this contract with Highways England which will deliver lasting benefits to the region.

“It builds on our long-standing and trusted relationship with Highways England, through which we have delivered many successful projects.

“We know the area well and will work closely with communities along the route to help keep the roads running during the works while providing training and job opportunities for local people – helping to deliver a lasting legacy.”

A number of junction improvements will also be made, including a new triple-decker junction at Black Cat roundabout allowing free flowing traffic onto the A1 and the new dual carriageway.

It will also create better routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and improve connections to St Neots and its train station.

Around 25,000 vehicles travel on the A428 between Cambridge Road and Caxton Gibbet every day. With considerable local housing and job growth expected, this number is likely to increase to around 33,000 vehicles by 2040.

Highways England submitted its application for a development consent order to the government’s independent planning authority, the Planning Inspectorate, on February 26.

The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide whether to accept the application for consideration. The pre-examination period and examination period then follow with a decision expected in 2022.

Read more:

Fresh plans for St Neots A428 upgrade and new Black Cat roundabout to go on show

A428 changes revealed as new consultation starts into £1.4bn upgrade work



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