£500m to be spent transforming congestion hotspot connecting Milton Keynes
Half a billion has been earmarked to tackle one of the region’s busiest major roads.
Highways England has granted a £507m contract to Skanska, a construction and engineering company, to build a new 10-mile dual carriageway.
This project will replace the one remaining single carriageway in place between Milton Keynes and Cambridge to ease congestion.
The carriageway will link the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.
Plans are also in place to upgrade existing roundabouts into junctions and add a new junction at Cambridge Road, near St Neots.
Highways England submitted its application for a Development Consent Order to the government’s independent planning authority, the Planning Inspectorate, on 26 February 2021.
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.
Lee Galloway, an interim project director at Highways England, said: “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."
The new road will connect Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Bedford and St Neots.
Other planned improvements will include a new triple-decker junction at Black Cat roundabout allowing traffic onto the A1 and the new dual carriageway.
Skanska won the work through the Highways England Regional Delivery Partnership.
Jonathan Willcock, a managing director at Skanska, said: “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.”
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.