The MP for Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly has said that digging work has already started for the new A428.

The Caxton Gibbet roundabout of the A428 and A1198 in Cambridgeshire PICTURE: Highways EnglandThe Caxton Gibbet roundabout of the A428 and A1198 in Cambridgeshire PICTURE: Highways England

Construction on the new A428 will still go ahead despite proposal to scrap the Oxford to Cambridge expressway, the MP for Huntingdon has said.

Jonathan Djanogly has told the Hunts Post that construction on the A428 will continue despite rumours that it may be scrapped.

The news comes after campaigners for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway route presented a petition of 15,000 signatures to Downing Street to stop the project, which is planning for a direct route that links Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

The news comes after Conservative MP for Henley John Howell, said that he thought an announcement on the future if the major new road would be made on March 11 as the government set out its spending fir 2020/21.

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Rumours suggested that this work on the expressway would include the new A428 construction, but Mr Djanogly has said that the upgrades will "continue" and that the new route will happen.

Mr Djanogly said: "As far as I am aware the construction of the new A428 still stands and will be going ahead. They have already started digging, and I haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise, and we have been working to get it done.

"From what I understand, the expressway plans have nothing to do with the construction of the A428 and diggers will continue to work on it."

The news comes after Highways England have proposed a new 10-mile dual carriageway that will stretch from the Black Cat junction to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout.

Highways England is proposing to replace the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire with a new, free-flowing junction and create a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking it to a redesigned Caxton Gibbet junction, replacing the only remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge and tackling one of the region's most notorious congestion hotspots.

St Neots Town Councillor Barry Chapman said: "I was a Founder Member of the A428 Alliance. St Neots is the largest provider of commuting workers filling labour shortages of the Cambridge economy. The A428 upgrade is essential to deliver workers to jobs and to maintain Cambridge's economic growth and livelihoods. Although the A428 upgrade will ease commuter issues it will be Cambridge City which will benefit because those living in lower housing cost areas often fill low paid Cambridge jobs. Without the A428 upgrade, the Cambridge economy will require far more social and affordable housing than has currently been planned. Congestion and pollution in Cambridge could be solved by prioritising green transport into the City from St Neots in the form of the CAM and EWR. Without a Cambridge/St Neots rail link the A428 is critical for both local economies".