Hearings on A428 upgrade are set to resume

An aerial shot of the Black Cat roundabout near St Neots.

An aerial shot of the Black Cat roundabout near St Neots. - Credit: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Dates have been set for the next set of hearings on the multi-million pound scheme to upgrade the A428 around the St Neots area.

More than 200 people have already made their views known about the impact of the new 10-mile dual carriageway,  between the Black Cat roundabout on the A1 and Caxton Gibbet, as part of its Development Consent Order (DCO) process.

The road is designed to relieve pressure on one of the region's major congestion hotspots and follows on from the £1.5 billion upgrade to the A14.

The hearings, the latest on the DCO which will have to be approved before the road can go ahead, are taking place online. They will take place on November 30, December 1 and December 2, with  December 7 being set aside as a reserve slot.

Lee Galloway, National Highways A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Improvements project director, said: “We’re pleased to hear that over the past four months the Examination Authority have heard from more than 200 people who want to share their views and feedback on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements.

"Once complete, this transformative project will have a huge impact on people who live, work and travel in and around Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, helping them to save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week."

The meetings will deal with social, economic and environmental matters on the first day, highways issues on the second and items relating to the draft DCO on the third.

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Following the end of the six-month examination stage, due to be completed in February 2022, the panel will then have three months to write a recommendation report and submit it to the Secretary of State for Transport who then has a further three months to make the final decision on whether to grant permission for the scheme.  

The project includes a number of junction improvements, including a three-tier junction at Black Cat roundabout, better routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and improve connections to St Neots railway station.    

People can listen in via livestream by visiting the Planning Inspectorate’s website where a link to join will be posted shortly before the hearings begin at  https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/a428-black-cat-to-caxton-gibbet-road-improvement-scheme/