Mayor of St Neots in favour of half a billion-pound road upgrade

Congestion on the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire is a common sight for drivers

Congestion on the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire is a common sight for drivers - Credit: Highways England

The mayor St Neots and Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly are backing a half-a-billion-pound road upgrade which will see Skanska design and build the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme. 

Highways England has awarded Skanska a £507m contract improvements scheme to improve journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridgeshire.   

The scheme will see a new 10-mile dual carriageway built, linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.   

Both existing roundabouts will also be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction added at Cambridge Road, near St Neots.    

Councillor Ferguson said: “I am highly supportive of improving the infrastructure within the area. 

“I think those improvements are essential, we are seeing that the population of St Neots is increasing rapidly with the new housing developments and will soon be well over 60,000 people in the next few years.  

St Neots mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson.

St Neots mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson. - Credit: ARCHANT

“Many of those people are commuters, especially heading towards Cambridge, the roads are completely insufficient for our current population and will get more and more strained. 

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“I welcome the new scheme, especially with the Oxford to Cambridge link being cancelled.” 

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

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, said: “That the A428 upgrade is a step closer is something I very much welcome. An improved A428 is vital to unlocking growth in this area and assisting businesses in the Eastern region between Cambridge and Bedford. 

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly. - Credit: ARCHANT

"The upgrade will improve commuting times, reduce congestion and provide the infrastructure necessary to develop our local and regional businesses and indeed our prosperity moving forwards. Local MPs and councils have all put a great deal of work into leading a strong campaign for an improved A428 and I am pleased to see the project progressing to this stage.”

Lee Galloway, interim project director at Skanska, said: “The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme will transform one of the busiest road links in the East of England. 

“Helping to save drivers who live, work and travel in and around Bedfordshire and Cambridge an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week.    

“We’re extremely excited to be working alongside Skanska as we move through the design stages of this project and onto starting main construction.”   

Skanska will lead on the project, working in close collaboration with design partner Mott McDonald and Highways England. 

The contract was awarded through Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership framework.    

Jonathan Willcock, managing director of Skanska’s infrastructure business, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed this contract with Highways England which will deliver lasting benefits to the region.   

“It builds on our long-standing and trusted relationship with Highways England, through which we have delivered many successful projects.   

“We know the area well and will work closely with communities along the route to help keep the roads running during the works while providing training and job opportunities for local people – helping to deliver a lasting legacy.”  

The new road will be an important link between the M1 and the M11, connecting Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Bedford and St Neots.    

A number of junction improvements will also be made, including a new triple-decker junction at Black Cat roundabout allowing free flowing traffic onto the A1 and the new dual carriageway.   

It will also create better routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and improve connections to St Neots and its train station.    

Around 25,000 vehicles travel on the A428 between Cambridge Road and Caxton Gibbet every day.  

With considerable local housing and job growth expected, this number is likely to increase to around 33,000 vehicles by 2040.