About the scheme

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

The need for the scheme

We’re improving journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

  • 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 25,300 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 32,900 vehicles by 2040.
  • 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.

The proposed improvements will:

Provide quicker, safer and more reliable journeys

We will cut journey times by more than a third at peak times, saving up to ten minutes each way - and as much as 1.5 hours over a working week.

Support local and regional economic growth

The new dual carriageway will increase capacity, reliability and safety on the road network, encouraging investors and visitors to the area and will make jobs in Milton Keynes and Cambridge more accessible.

Help life in local villages

The new dual carriageway will cut congestion on the existing road, removing the temptation for drivers to use local roads to avoid delays. Our plans will mean there will be up to 4,000 less cars on local roads.

Improve the environment

We will maintain biodiversity and improve air and noise quality for communities.

Improve travel for walker, cyclists and horse riders

The scheme includes safe crossing points for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and reconnections for disrupted rights of way.

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
This map shows the route of the proposed 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.
Leaving a positive legacy

The design of our scheme will bring lots of transport benefits to road users, but we understand that major construction projects will impact those living nearby. By working with partners such as local authorities, parish councils and community groups from an early stage, we can help shape a legacy that adds value and supports local initiatives. We are committed to leaving a positive legacy and we want to:  

  • Enhance the environment  
  • Connect and support communities 
  • Develop local skills, employment and the economy 
  • Protect our heritage 

You can find out more information on our dedicated legacy page.

Sign up for updates

Keep updated on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements

Sign up for updates
A428 Black cat image