Upgrades to the Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet route on the A428 across the border between Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire have started.
The £1 billion scheme will create a new 10-mile dual carriageway and numerous junction improvements, transforming journeys between the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire and A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders will also get better footpaths and safer crossing points.
The scheme is aimed to help grow the economy across the region and ensure that jobs in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and everywhere in between are far more accessible.
Once complete, journeys at peak times are expected to be cut by a third, saving businesses and road users an average of an hour and a half over a working week.
Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “I’m delighted we have marked the start of works on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet project, a huge investment by the government to grow the economy in the region and reduce congestion for drivers.
“This government is backing drivers by investing in much-needed road projects like this, using savings from HS2 to resurface roads across the country, and introducing a long-term Plan for Drivers to slam the brakes on anti-car measures.”
Nicola Bell, National Highways Executive Director for Major Projects, added: “As we break ground today, we embark on a journey that will transform transport in this region, easing congestion, improving connectivity and fostering economic growth.
“This project highlights National Highways’ commitment to delivering major projects that make lasting impacts for people, communities and businesses. The start of construction represents a culmination of meticulous planning, collaborative efforts and a steadfast commitment to enhancing the nation’s infrastructure.
“We are proud to be part of a project that will lay the foundations for a more resilient and connected future.”
Plans include upgrading roundabouts at each end of the stretch of road into mfree-flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its railway station.
It’s expected the new dual carriageway will also remove the temptation for drivers to use local roads to avoid delays, removing up to 4,000 vehicles from these routes. The scheme is expected to open to traffic in spring 2027.
Lee Galloway, A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements Project Director, said: “Today marks a pivotal milestone for everyone connected with this much-needed and wanted scheme. To get to this point would not have been possible without the dedication of our team, the support of our partners and stakeholders and the invaluable input from local communities.
“This project is about connecting communities and leaving a positive legacy in the region. Throughout construction, we are committed to bringing the community on the journey with us, minimising disruption and ensuring that local people and businesses remain an integral part of the process.”
Charlotte Horobin, Chief Executive Officer, Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Fostering the A428 development marks a pivotal stride towards unlocking further economic growth in our community. By enhancing connectivity, we unlock opportunities for local businesses, driving productivity, innovation and prosperity across Cambridgeshire.”
(Picture – National Highways)