A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet

Improving the A428 near St Neots.

Region:  East
Start date:  2021/22
Cost:  £810 million to £1.4 billion
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC

Progress report

We have now selected the preferred route for this scheme.

After careful consideration of more than 4000 consultation responses and extensive technical design, we are taking forward the development of the Orange route and option C for the Black Cat roundabout.

What this scheme means for you

Quicker, safer and more reliable journeys

  • By reducing congestion in the area, the scheme will improve journeys between Milton Keynes and Cambridge
  • We expect to cut the average commute between the Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet junctions by more than a third, saving drivers around 10 minutes on their commute

Unlocking regional and local growth

  • Better connections into St Neots train station and town centre
  • These improvements will compliment the development of a new high quality link road between Oxford and Milton Keynes, transforming connections and supporting housing and job growth across the wider region

Helping life in local villages by putting the right traffic on the right roads

  • The scheme will reduce rat running on local village roads and remove long distance traffic using these roads as a diversion route
  • There will be around 4,000 less vehicles on local roads at peak times

The scheme at a glance

  • A new 10 mile dual carriageway between the Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet junctions
  • A three tier junction at the Black Cat roundabout will allow traffic to flow freely on the A1, A421 and the new road
  • New junctions at Cambridge Road and Caxton Gibbet will connect the new dual carriageway to the existing A428
  • The existing A428 will be retained for local traffic and public transport
  • Close alignment to the existing A428 will help reduce environmental impacts
  • New bridges will cross over the dual carriageway at Roxton Road, Barford Road, the B1046 and Toseland Road
  • New bridges over the River Great Ouse and East Coast Main Line railway
  • Improvements to A428/B1040 Eltisley junction
  • Improved routes for cyclists, walkers and horse riders
  • Safer and alternative access for some side roads

Response to the consultation

  • Over 4,000 people and organisations took part
  • 89% agreed we need to improve journeys on this route
  • 83% of respondents chose the Orange route
  • 60% preferred Option C for Black Cat roundabout

To find out more about how we made this decision and the results from the consultation, please view the documents below:

Find out more

To view reference hard copies of our booklet and public consultation report, please visit the following places during their normal opening hours:

  • St Neots Library
  • Papworth Library
  • Cambourne Library
  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Huntingdon and Priory Centre offices

You can also email us at a428blackcattocaxtongibbet@highwaysengland.co.uk for a hard copy.

What's next?

We will hold a public consultation on the route with a number of public events in the area later this year. This will give our stakeholders and customers another opportunity to help shape the scheme before the start of the formal Development Consent Order process.


Date Event
February 2019 Preferred Route Announcement and further engagement with local community representatives and landowners
2019 Site surveys including topographical studies, traffic modelling, ecological surveys and ground investigation at key locations along the route
2019 Public consultation expected to take place on the developed route option
2019 Further develop the scheme incorporating input from all consultees
2020 Submit application for a Development Consent Order
2020 to 2025 Start of works – subject to the necessary approvals, construction is expected to proceed in 2021/22

Why we need this scheme

The A428 between the A1 junction near St Neots and the A1198 Caxton Gibbet is single carriageway with a series of roundabouts and give-way junctions. It experiences major delays during peak periods, resulting in delays and reduced speeds. With few available diversions, incidents and accidents result in disruption over a wide area.

The A428 is an important route in an area of the country where considerable growth in housing and employment is planned.


The scheme will:

  • reduce congestion and delays
  • increase road capacity
  • improve journey time reliability
  • support the growth identified in local plans
  • improve safety
  • provide alternative access to local roads
  • help the transport network to better cope with road maintenance and with incidents such as collisions, breakdowns, maintenance
  • improve the environmental impact of transport on communities along the existing A428 route
  • provide improved routes between communities for cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians
  • reconnect communities
  • improve safe and effective access for public transport users

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Planned roadworks

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