Press release

Commuters to save up to 90 minutes in massive A428 upgrade

Updated plans to transform one of the busiest road links in the East of England have gone on show today.

Black Cat roundabout today

Commuters using the A428 between Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire could save up to an hour and a half on their journeys every week using a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. Both roundabouts would also be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction would be added at Cambridge Road near St Neots.

The project would replace the only remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge and tackle one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots.

 The Black Cat roundabout - how it will appear once the transformation is complete
The Black Cat roundabout - how it will appear once the transformation is complete.

In February, Highways England announced the preferred choices from an earlier public consultation in 2017 which included three route options for the new dual carriageway and three options for improving the Black Cat roundabout. Now, the details behind that announcement are being put to the public for views before the final plans go forward for planning consent early next year. An eight-week consultation launching today is an opportunity for drivers, business owners and local people to get involved and help shape the plans.

Highways England A428 programme lead Lee Galloway said:

The current A428 carries twice the traffic it was designed for and cuts through small communities and villages. It can get painfully congested – in fact it is in the worst 20 per cent of roads for delays in the whole country. Our plans will make a real difference, improving people’s journeys, reducing rat running on local roads and better linking the two key economic hubs of Milton Keynes and Cambridge, with economic benefits being felt across the whole region. People’s input has been essential in getting us to this stage, and I am looking forward to hearing what people think about our plans.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

These important upgrades will not only relieve congestion but will also link businesses and communities helping to boost the region’s economy and make a real difference to people’s lives.

This is part of the government’s £15 billion Road Investment Strategy to improve our motorways and major ‘A’ roads helping get motorists to their destinations quickly, easily and safely.

The project team will be hosting eight consultation events at local venues across the area, and in addition a mobile visitor centre will visit popular locations and pop up events will be held in Milton Keynes and Bedford shopping centres. Each will give people the opportunity to find out more about the proposals, explore the project using innovative visualisations and put any questions directly to the project team.

People can respond to the consultation by visiting the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet webpage. Copies of the consultation booklet are also available at local council offices and libraries.

The consultation runs eight weeks from today and closes at 11:59pm on Sunday 28 July 2019.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 3 June 2019