THE economies of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire will lose out on employment opportunities worth £1.7billion if the A428 is not dualled between Caxton Gibbet and the A1 at Black Cat south of St Neots. A report by consulting engineers Mott MacDonald, commissioned by Cambridgeshire Horizons, the company tasked with delivering £3.1billion of infrastructure to support 50,000 new homes in the Cambridge sub-region by 2016, chronicles the economic disaster for the area if the scheme is not put back into the roads programme for the East of England. Although the economic assessment has not yet been published, it will form the basis of a submission to the East of England Regional Assembly for an early start on the multi-million pound scheme. With the completion this year of dualling the road between Caxton and Hardwick, it leaves just a few miles of single carriageway in South Cambridgeshire and south Huntingdonshire as the missing piece of the dualled link between Cambridge and west of Bedford. Horizons commissioned the research because it believed lack of the road represented a huge potential loss to the local and regional economies. Stuart Bell, transport team leader for Huntingdonshire District Council, said the scheme was in the East of England programme for some time after 2016, when the A14 improvements should be completed.