Plans to transform journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge have moved a step closer now the examination phase has formally closed.
National Highways’ plans will see a brand new 10-mile dual carriageway, linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. Both existing roundabouts will be upgraded to modern, free-flowing junctions with a new junction at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots town centre and railway station.
The new dual carriageway will replace the only remaining section of single carriageway on the strategic road network between Milton Keynes and Cambridge and tackles one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots.
Over the next three months the Examination Authority (appointed by the Planning Inspectorate), who has been scrutinising the scheme during its formal public examination, will carefully consider all the evidence they’ve heard including the many questions and representations from the public, local authorities and interested parties
They will then make a recommendation as to whether the Secretary of State for Transport should grant formal planning permission (a Development Consent Order) so construction can begin.
Following receipt of the Examining Authority’s Recommendation Report, the Secretary of State has a further three months to decide whether to grant or refuse development consent. We expect this decision to come late summer. The full Examining Authority’s report won’t be published until the decision is made.
Lee Galloway, National Highways, A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Improvements Project Director, said, “Our proposals for the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements will make a real difference to people’s lives, helping them to save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week. The upgrade will also help connect local communities, reduce rat running on local roads, and provide a better economic link between Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
“People’s input has been essential in getting us to this stage, and the team has been working hard to answer all the questions raised in the examination period. We look forward to moving onto the next stage of the project and eagerly await the outcome of the Secretary of State’s decision later this year.”
(Picture – National Highways)