New 10-mile dual carriageway to improve journeys between Bedford, Milton Keynes and Biggleswade

Improvements on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet given the green light
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A vital upgrade to improve hundreds of thousands of journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford, Biggleswade and Cambridge has been given the green light to proceed.

And construction could start later this year.

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps granted planning permission yesterday (August 18) for National Highways to begin work on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements, which will tackle one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots.

An artistic impression of the new look A1 Black Cat roundaboutAn artistic impression of the new look A1 Black Cat roundabout
An artistic impression of the new look A1 Black Cat roundabout

National Highways plans will see the creation of a 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 into modern, free-flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its train station.

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.”

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements route map.A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements route map.
A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements route map.
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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.

Bedfod mayor Dave Hodgson said: “It’s great to see that we have passed another important milestone for the upgraded route.

"I know so many local residents support this project and look forward to the vital carriageway and junction upgrades. Together we are making the Borough a better place to live, work and visit."

In the coming months, National Highways will host a number of face-to-face public information events and online Q&A sessions to keep the local communities up to date on plans.

You can view the Secretary of State’s decision letter here.

For more information on the Development Consent Order (DCO) and to view the DCO documents, please visit the scheme page on the Planning Inspectorate website.