19-Aug-2022

A vital upgrade to improve hundreds of thousands of journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge has today (Thursday 18 August) been given the green light to proceed.

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, granted planning permission (called a Development Consent Order) today 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.

IMAGE: 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. 

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.

Lee Galloway, Project Director, said:

"This announcement is a major milestone, not only for the 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."

Dave Hodgson, Elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, 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."

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Map

IMAGE: A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements route map

National Highways aims to start construction later this year.

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.

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

For the latest information about the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements: