Upgrade of the existing A428 to dual two-lane expressway standard between the A1 at Black Cat Roundabout and the A1198 at Caxton Gibbet. This will complete a continuous expressway route between the M1 near Milton Keynes and Cambridge, and contribute to completion of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge expressway.
The new route will travel east from Black Cat Roundabout, passing south of St Neots and Little Barford before crossing the line of the existing A428 close to the eastern end of the existing St Neots Bypass. From there it will run on the north side of the existing road, crossing to the south side at Eltisley.
A three-level stacked roundabout interchange will be provided at Black Cat, where the route meets the A1, and two-level local junctions will be built to the east of St Neots and at Caxton Gibbet. The decision to create a free-flowing A1 under the new Black Cat interchange suggests that future improvements to the A1 in this area will be on the existing line and not to the east, which had previously been considered.
The scheme was originally part of the first Road Investment Period, but has been pushed back to RIS2, with an official start date around 2021/22.
Residents in nearby villages such as Roxton have already been approached as part of official inquiries into land ownership.
The consultation is now open to select route options and grade separation at Black Cat.
Three routes were proposed before last summer with the promise of an announcement in the autumn. Locally, consensus appeared to favour the Orange route as it ran closest to the existing road and affected less open countryside.
Highways England have yet to issue a decision, and now say "the start of works has moved to Roads Period 2 (between 2020 and 2025) and our aim is to start construction in 2021/22 subject to the Development Consent Order application".
Orange Route and Option C are the Preferred Routes
Extensive ground work and investigations are taking place to the east of Black Cat Roundabout, I am unsure if they are related to preliminary investigations for this scheme. Significant dirt excavations are taking place, with large earth mounds taking shape, possibly a sign of groundwork/feasibility study due to the low lying land and floodplain in this area?
- Highways England: A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet
- Gov.uk: Major roads investment in the east of England
- Consultation: A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet
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With thanks to James Croucher for information on this page.