Category Archive

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements

Home About Our approach News Library Keep in touch
Overnight lane closures on the Black Cat roundabout
October 16th, 2019

Overnight lane closures on the Black Cat roundabout

Sign of Black Cat roundabout

There will be overnight lane closures on the A1, A421 and Black Cat roundabout as part of our ground investigations along the new route.  The surveys will give us a clearer picture of the type of soils, rock and groundwater and will inform how we design the proposed new junction and other structures.

We will need to close single lanes for a short distance near and on the roundabout to help protect our people who will be working close to the live carriageway.

We are carrying this work out at night so it has the least impact on those travelling. There may be some noise if you are within 50 metres of our equipment. To help reduce the impact of this, we are using acoustic barriers, low noise machinery and white noise reversing alarms.  Access to businesses and properties will remain open.

Details of closures:

Type: Short single lane closures. No diversions.
Dates: From Monday 21 October for three weeks.  Weekdays only.
When: 8pm – 6am.
Location:

  • 2km single lane closure on the A1 northbound starting before Tempsford Bends
  • Single lane closure on the Black Cat roundabout
  • 500m single lane closure on the A1 northbound between Black Cat roundabout and Wyboston junction
  • 1km single lane closure on the A421 eastbound heading towards Black Cat roundabout.

Find out more about what’s happening and how the surveys are helping us design the scheme on our ground investigations page.


Ground investigations on A428 Black Cat
August 15th, 2019

Ground investigations on A428 Black Cat

Ground investigations

We’re starting a programme of important ground investigations and surveys. These will give us a clear picture of the type of soils, rock types and groundwater where we’ll be building the new road. The work will help us design all the junctions, structures and everything we’re building, as well as plan how to build it safely and in a way that will keep costs down. We’ve produced this Ground Investigations leaflet to explain more details about the tests we will be carrying out.

The majority of work will take place on private property such as farmland and industrial sites. Any work in public areas will look very similar to normal road works, with barriers around a small section of a pavement or road, with a diversion around it for traffic or pedestrians. We will keep local residents and landowners informed about where we’re working.

Find out more, including answers to frequently asked questions, on our ground investigations and surveys page.


Thousands get involved in A428 Black Cat transformation
August 6th, 2019

Thousands get involved in A428 Black Cat transformation

Thousands of people have got involved in a recent consultation on proposals to improve journeys on one of the East of England’s busiest roads.

We ran an eight-week consultation on the proposals between Monday 3 June and Sunday 28 July. Close to 2,500 people took the time to talk and discuss the proposal at one of the 15 events. These included events in shopping and town centres in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Bedford, plus eight exhibitions and visits by a mobile visitor centre. In addition to these, more than 900 people returned detailed responses to the consultation.

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.

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.

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 using 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.


Roxton public consultation event: last chance to meet our team
July 16th, 2019

Roxton public consultation event: last chance to meet our team

Member of the public pointing at route map

If you’re interested in finding out more about our plans, there’s still time to come to our consultation event at Roxton Village Hall in Bedfordshire on Thursday 18 July.

Our team will be available to answer your questions across a range of topics with specialists in the technical design, the environment, traffic management and construction.

We’ll be sharing visualisations and maps of what the road and junction will look like when finished and how the new Black Cat junction might look during construction.

For those with children, join us at one of our drop in Minecraft sessions where you can explore and travel on the road and junctions in our specially built world.

Finally, you’ll also be able to examine the new Black Cat roundabout in 3D using augmented reality with our A428 app as well.

Public consultation event

Midday – 8pm, Thursday 18 July

Roxton Village Hall
High Street
Roxton
Bedford
MK44 3EB


Inspire your child to explore road designs in Minecraft
June 7th, 2019

Inspire your child to explore road designs in Minecraft

Minecraft still

Inspire your child to be an engineer of the future with our Minecraft workshops for those aged seven and above. It’s a chance to see how real roads are designed and built.

You can explore the scheme in Minecraft, challenge our designs and even tell us what you think.

The workshops are taking place at our consultation events below. Our team will be available to answer your questions and discuss our plans in more detail. Just drop in.

If you have Minecraft, play at home:

You can also experience our Minecraft world from home. To join the server, open Minecraft and click the Play button. Go to Servers tab and click Add Server. Then give the server a name of your choice in the Server Name field and in the Server Address field type: a428.blockbuilders.co.uk

You can also watch a fly through of our Minecraft world.

Consultation events and Minecraft workshops

Date

Time

Venue

Location

Thursday 13 June 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Wyboston Training Centre (Oakley Suite)

Wyboston Lakes, Great North Road,
Wyboston, Bedfordshire MK44 3AL

Friday 21 June 2019

12 noon to 8pm

St Neots Priory Centre

Priory Lane, St Neots,
Cambridgeshire, PE19 2BH

Monday 24 June 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Wyboston Village Hall

Wyboston, Bedford MK44 3AG

Saturday 29 June 2019

10am to 4pm

Newton Primary School

Caxton End, Eltisley, St Neots,
Cambridgeshire, PE19 6TL

Tuesday 2 July 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Stuart Memorial Hall

Church Street, Tempsford,
Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2AW

Thursday 11 July 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Yelling Village Hall

High Street,
St Neots, PE19 6SB

Monday 15 July 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Doubletree by Hilton, Cambourne

Cambridge Belfry, Back Lane,
Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, CB23 6BW

Thursday 18 July 2019

12 noon to 8pm

Roxton Village Hall

High Street, Roxton,
Bedford MK44 3EB


Commuters to save up to 90 minutes in massive A428 upgrade
June 2nd, 2019

Commuters to save up to 90 minutes in massive A428 upgrade

Updated plans to transform one of the busiest road links in the East of England have gone on show today (Monday 3 June).

Commuters using the A428 between Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire could save up to an hour and a half on their journeys every week using a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. Both roundabouts would also be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction would be added at Cambridge Road near St Neots.

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


Image: The Black Cat roundabout today (left), and how it will appear when the transformation is complete (right)

In February, Highways England announced the preferred choices from an earlier public consultation in in 2017 which included three route options for the new dual carriageway and three options for improving the Black Cat roundabout. Now, the details behind that announcement are being put to the public for views before the final plans go forward for planning consent later this year. An eight-week consultation launching today is an opportunity for drivers, business owners and local people to get involved and help shape the plans.

Highways England A428 programme lead Lee Galloway said:

The current A428 carries twice the traffic it was designed for and cuts through small communities and villages. It can get painfully congested – in fact it is in the worst 20 per cent of roads for delays in the whole country. Our plans will make a real difference, improving people’s journeys, reducing rat running on local roads and better linking the two key economic hubs of Milton Keynes and Cambridge, with economic benefits being felt across the whole region. People’s input has been essential in getting us to this stage, and I am looking forward to hearing what people think about our plans.”

The project team will be hosting eight consultation events at local venues across the area, and in addition a mobile visitor centre will visit popular locations and pop up events will be held in Milton Keynes and Bedford shopping centres. Each will give people the opportunity to find out more about the proposals, explore the project using innovative visualisations and put any questions directly to the project team.

People can respond to the consultation by going online at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/a428. Copies of the consultation booklet are also available at local council offices and libraries.

The consultation runs eight weeks from today and closes at one minute to midnight on Sunday 28 July.

 


Route unveiled for major new road and junction at Black Cat
February 18th, 2019

Route unveiled for major new road and junction at Black Cat

Drivers using three of the busiest roads in east England are set to benefit from a major upgrade creating a new 10-mile dual carriageway and transforming one of the region’s most congested junctions.

In a project that will improve a key east-west road link, journeys on the A1, the A421 and the A428 will be improved by a new three tier junction at the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire, which will allow drivers to pass through the junction uninterrupted, while keeping the roundabout clear for drivers making turns between the roads.

And a brand new, 10 mile dual carriageway will link directly between the upgraded Black Cat junction and the Caxton Gibbet roundabout near Cambourne in Cambridgeshire, with a new junction at Cambridge road and new bridges. The existing A428 will become a local road serving communities between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet.

Options for the new road scheme were put to the public in 2017, and the route being announced today (18 February 2018) combines the best mix of benefits and were also the most popular options at consultation. The chosen options were referred to at the consultation as the Orange Route and Option C respectively.

Highways England project lead Lee Galloway said:

This major new dual carriageway between St Neots and Cambridge and upgrade for the Black Cat junction will mean quicker and safer journeys for people and will also boost the economy and unlock housing. As well as significant improvements locally, the project will be a vital component in improving the regional and national road network. The improvements will complement our £1.5bn A14 upgrade and form part of a wider transformation of road links between Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Well over 4,000 people took part in our consultation last year, with more than 2,000 people attending one of our public events, and it is great to see that our proposals have such strong backing. I would like to thank everyone who took part for their contribution in helping to shape this vital upgrade for the area’s road network. With the options now chosen, we can push ahead with a more detailed design, which we will put to people for their input again later this year.

Currently, the A428 between the A1 at Black Cat and the A1198 at Caxton Gibbet is a single carriageway with a series of roundabouts and give-way junctions. It experiences severe congestion and delays during peak periods or if there is an incident in the wider South Cambridgeshire area. The improvements will cut the average peak time journeys between the Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet junctions by more than a third – around a 10 minute saving on every trip.

The improvements will tackle these delays by creating a new dual carriageway, with junctions served by slip roads, and bridges to carry local roads over it. The new dual carriageway will lead directly to the Black Cat junction which is itself being upgraded to allow smoother, safer access between the A1, the A421 and the A428. The A428 currently joins the A1 at Wyboston 1.5 miles to the north.

Retaining the existing A428 for local traffic will offer significant benefits for communities along the route, while four new routes for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians will maintain and improve access across the new road.

Three options for the new road were put to the public in 2017, along with three options for the junction upgrade. The chosen options announced today were referred to at the consultation as the Orange Route and Option C respectively. 89 percent of respondents agreed with the need for the upgrade, with a clear majority of respondents backing the options chosen today (83 per cent for the Orange route and 60 per cent for Option C).

The scheme is valued between £810m and £1.4bn, and is being funded by the Government’s £15bn Road Investment Strategy, the biggest investment in road infrastructure since the 1970s.

Today’s announcement paves the way for a further, more detailed consultation later in 2019, and a planning application, expected in 2020. Subject to statutory processes, main construction work on the upgrade could start before April 2022.

For more information about the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements and to keep up to date, visit the scheme web page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.