About the scheme

Find out more about the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme

The need for the scheme

The A428 between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet is the only stretch of single carriageway between the M1 near Milton Keynes and Cambridge. It is an important link between the M1 and the M11, connecting the communities of Bedford, St Neots, Cambridge and Cambourne. Around 22,000 vehicles travel between Cambridge Road and Caxton Gibbet every day. With considerable local housing and job growth expected, this number is likely to grow to 27,000 vehicles by 2038.

People that use the A428 regularly experience congestion and delays, especially in rush hour. The situation is made worse by the lack of alternative routes.

We’re planning to cut the average commute between Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet junctions by more than a third, saving up to 10 minutes on every trip.

What are we proposing?

Our plans are to upgrade the route between the Black Cat roundabout and Caxton Gibbet. A new 10 mile dual carriageway will connect the Black Cat roundabout and Caxton Gibbet roundabout.

Our proposals also include:

New roads, junctions and bridges
  • a new three tier junction at Black Cat roundabout which will allow traffic to flow freely on the A1 by travelling under the junction and on the new dual carriageway over the junction
  • new junctions at Caxton Gibbet and Cambridge Road, connecting the new dual carriageway to the existing A428 and increasing the local road network’s ability to cope with unforeseen incidents
  • new Roxton Road link to connect Wyboston and Chawston
  • new bridges crossing over the new dual carriageway at Roxton Road, Barford Road and Toseland Road
  • new bridges over the River Great Ouse and East Coast Main Line railway
  • retention of the existing A428 between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet for local traffic and public transport
  • retention of existing bus stops on the A1
  • all local roads maintained although direct access to the A1 from some roads will be removed for safety reasons
  • safer and alternative access to side roads at Chawston, Wyboston and Eltisley
  • better routes for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders that maintain links with the existing public rights of way
  • better connections to St Neots and its train station
  • close alignment to the existing A428 helps to reduce the environmental impacts of the scheme

Our approach

Working with partners and other infrastructure in the region

It’s important that a scheme of this scale leaves a lasting legacy for the region. That’s why it’s important that we work closely with partners such as local authorities, parish councils, community groups and other providers of infrastructure such as East West Rail. This way we can ensure that we understand needs and together deliver a sustainable and integrated transport solution.

Protecting places we love, and what makes them special, is an important part of how we plan and build major road schemes. The local area is home to amazing wildlife and plants. This includes great crested newts, and the distinctive “pug like” barbastelle bat.

We have carried out a series of detailed surveys to make sure we have as much information as possible on the local environment. This will help us identify how best to avoid or reduce any impact on the local environment. This includes looking in detail at the potential impact of the scheme, from air quality to cultural heritage and the impact on our climate.

Read our Environmental Report and Non-Technical Summary

We are committed to working with the community and being a good neighbour. We use our experience in managing major construction projects, combined with feedback from local communities, to plan our work in a way that reduces its impact on local people as much as possible.

This includes focusing on what counts to customers and the local community, such as:

  • having a local point of contact. All major projects have a community liaison manager based on site, providing regular updates to local people.
  • a clear programme of work, communicated in advance, that is planned with the community and customer in mind.
  • a clear traffic management plan for all stages of work that reduces any impacts on local roads.
  • carrying out construction work so that it has minimal noise impact on local people.

Managing traffic flow during construction

Our visualisation shows how we’ll keep the traffic moving while we build the new Black Cat junction.

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet temporary arrangements

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