Thousands get stuck in to A428 Black Cat transformation

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

The Caxton Gibbet roundabout of the A428 and A1198 in Cambridgeshire PICTURE: Highways England - Credit: Archant

The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme could help save commuters travelling between Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire up to an hour and a half on their journeys every week, according to Highways England.

The scheme would see a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.

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

Highways England ran an eight-week consultation on the proposals between June 3 and July 28, with about 2,500 people taking the chance to discuss the proposal at one of 15 consultation events.

Highways England A428 programme lead, Lee Galloway, said: "I and the whole A428 team have been hugely encouraged by the response to our consultation. The current road is one of the regions most notorious congestion hot spots and we hope that over the last eight weeks we've shown drivers, business owners and local residents how this project is going to make a real difference in improving people's journeys.

"I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come to our events and to respond to the consultation, the feedback we receive will play an important role in the evolution of our design. An overwhelming majority of people told us they found the events useful, which is great. Our attention will now turn to analysing what people have told us, so we can take it into account and continue to develop our proposals to maximise the benefits for everyone."

Feedback from the consultation events revealed that 94 per cent of people found the events very useful, with three-quarters saying they were extremely useful.

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The next stage of the project's development will be to work through people's comments in detail and use them to produce an updated design, which will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for planning consent next year. The application and examination process will offer people a further opportunity to share their views on the project. Subject to statutory process construction could start by the end of 2021, with the new road opening to traffic in 2025/26.