A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme enters crucial stage

Scheme for A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet enters crucial stage of planning.

Scheme for A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet enters crucial stage of planning. - Credit: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Highways England has launched a video to highlight the expected benefits of the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvement scheme.

The scheme is now entering the examination stage in order to prepare for its Development Consent Order (DCO) which starts on August 19.

The planned scheme will replace the only remaining section of single carriageway on the A428 between Milton Keynes and Cambridge and tackles one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots.  

Highways England says the scheme will improve safety, promote growth for the local and regional economies and discourage rat-running through local villages. 

Over the next six months, members of the Planning Inspectorate’s examining authority will scrutinise Highways England’s proposals, and consider important and relevant matters relating to the scheme

The video can be viewed here: 

Following the examination period, the Planning Inspectorate has three months to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, who has a further three months to decide whether the project can move forward with construction.

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

Lee Galloway, the scheme's project director, said: “The scheme video that we have launched shows first-hand the wealth of benefits the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements will have for people who live, work and travel in and around Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  

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"Once complete, drivers could save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week. We now look forward to the examination period which begins on August 19. 

"Over the course of the next six months we will work closely with the Planning Inspectorate to answer any questions or concerns they have, and to show what a transformative project this will be.”

Anyone interested in following the progress of the application, can follow the examination period online. The Planning Inspectorate will make all documents and submissions available to read on their website, and include links to the livestream of the hearings shortly before they begin. 

Highways England will also share this information on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements Facebook and Twitter channels.

The Examining Authority will visit the location of the scheme to help them build a better understanding of the proposals and familiarise themselves with the area around the scheme.Further details of the examination process and timetable can be found in the Rule 6 letter on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Around 24,000 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. 

Highways England’s plans will create a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. 

Both existing roundabouts will be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its train station. 

The project includes a number of junction improvements, including a three-tier junction at Black Cat roundabout as well as better routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.