Permission granted for work on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements to begin
Improvement works on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet have been given the green light and construction will start this year.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps granted the development consent order which will enable National Highways to create a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.
The works aim to tackle one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots to improve journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.
Both of the existing roundabouts will be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its train station.
The project will fill in the missing link of dual carriageway on the strategic road network between Milton Keynes and Cambridge, helping drivers save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week.
Mr Shapps concluded that the decarbonisation agenda did not mean that new roads could not be built. And while some respondents to a public examination of the plans questioned whether the road was needed in light of plans for East West Rail, the transport secretary notes that “only a small proportion of the proposed development’s traffic would reassign to the East West Rail scheme”.
Mr Shapps also agreed that biodiversity measures had been identified, but acknowledged there was a “minor increased risk of nitrogen pollution to Madingley slip road roadside verge”.
Lee Galloway, National Highways project director, said: “This announcement is a major milestone, not only for us, but also for the many local communities who have long campaigned for improvements, as well as our stakeholders who we’ve been working with for several years.”
“Our proposals to upgrade the route between the A1 Black Cat roundabout and A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout with a new 10-mile dual carriageway and a number of junction improvements are good for businesses and jobs, will improve safety and make journeys more reliable.”